Sheriff FAQs

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Check out this page to learn about some of the Frequently Asked Questions regarding the Office of Sheriff!

History of the Office of Sheriff:

  • The modern office of sheriff in the United States descends from a one-thousand-year-old English tradition: a "shire-reeve" (shire-keeper) is the oldest appointment of the English crown. Because county governments were typically the first established units of government in newly settled American territories, sheriffs were among the first elected public officials in an area and thus developed a leading role in local law enforcement.

Difference Between a Sheriff & a Marshall:

  • The main difference between the two officials is that a Sheriff is an elected county position, whereas a Marshall is an appointed city official.

What are the differences between sheriff's offices and other law enforcement agencies?

  • To understand the differences, one must look at the definitions of each term - department and office. The sheriff holds an office, while other top administrators are appointed to administer departments.
  • Department: One of the major divisions of a branch of government. Generally, a branch or division of government subordinate to that government's administration.                                                                                                                                                                    I.E. "Dodge City Police Department"
  • Office: A right and correspondent duty to exercise a public trust. A public charge or employment. It is an elected public office.              I.E. "Ford County Sheriff's Office"
  • The office of sheriff is a constitutional office having exclusive powers, authority and responsibility. The sheriff is not appointed by a government body, but is elected by the people and is responsible to the people and not subordinate to county administrators or other elected officials. The sheriff is the only law enforcement position that is selected directly by and accountable to the citizens.
  • Sheriffs and their deputies provide public safety service by mandate or tradition.