Conservator of the Peace

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Conservator of the Peace

An officer of the government authorized by law to act in such a manner that will preserve and maintain the order and safety of the community and the general public.

The phrase conservator of the peace derives its meaning from its use in England during the Middle Ages. Until the reign of King Edward III, conservators of the peace were elected locally by the people. Subsequently they were appointed by the king. Among their duties were prevention of disturbances of the peace and arrest of individuals who did so. Around the year 1360, the duties of conservators of the peace were broadened by an act of Parliament to include the Arraignment and trial of offenders. They, therefore, became known as justices of the peace.

In the U.S. legal system, a conservator of the peace is synonymous with a peace officer. A police officer, a Coroner, or a court officer may be considered a conservator of the peace.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Under Worcester's charter, the city manager is the chief conservator of the peace. That gives the manager the power to review and investigate cases involving complaints against the police, including the use of the city solicitor, or outside counsel, to investigate complaints.
"Under the State Law, a[bar] 'it shall be the duty of the city manager to act as chief conservator of the peace within the city,' I have determined that it is not interest of 'peace within the city' to execute a cemetery deed for a plot within the Cambridge Cemetery for the body of Tamerlin Tsarnaev," Healy said in a statement.
She introduced a resolution in which she called on the council to go on record in support of the manager's efforts with Occupy Worcester as the city's chief conservator of the peace and his efforts to respect the movement's constitutional rights of free speech.
Hector Pineiro, a Worcester lawyer, noted that the city charter designates the city manager the chief conservator of the peace, which gives him the power to investigate cases involving complaints against the police.

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