Posse comitatus


“Power of the county”; the entire able-bodied male population of a county above the age of fifteen, which a sheriff may summon to assist in keeping the peace, in pursuing and arresting felons, etc. An individual’s refusal when so lawfully called to assist is an indictable offense. An 1845 Illinois justice of the peace manual indicated that a constable could “take of the county any number that he shall think proper, to pursue, arrest, and imprison” accused offenders.