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The difference between Sheriff and Police

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Posted over 6 years ago

 

Hi. I'm C.J., a criminal justice major at Grambling State University in Grambling, Louisiana.


 


What I would really like to know is the difference between the duties of a deputy sheriff and a police officer, if any.


 


Thanks for your time.

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In Indiana, the only difference is the Sheriff's Dept. does paper service on top of law enforcement duties.  They respond to the same type of calls that a city officer does.

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police911 says ...

In Indiana, the only difference is the Sheriff's Dept. does paper service on top of law enforcement duties.  They respond to the same type of calls that a city officer does.

What's paper service, is that paperwork like writing reports?

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Paper service is serving civil papers, i.e., subpoenas, eviction notices, domestic violence injunctions, etc., In Florida, the Police Dept. deals with the calls (including traffic related) inside the city limits. The Sheriffs Office deals with calls (excluding traffic related) within their county, this includes paper service and serving arrest warrants. In Florida we have the Highway Patrol vs State Police in some other states, FHP deals with all traffic related crimes, i.e., DUI, traffic crashes with criminal charges such as DUI manslaughter and some that turn out to be murder, and civil traffic infractions anywhere in the state, also has "Felony teams" that concentrate on drug interdiction on the interstate and we also arrest on warrants that we come across in the course of traffic stops or during crash investigations.

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Many times, the Sheriff does the jail as well as patrol.  The sheriff usually patrols areas/ cities that do not want to pay for police departments.

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In Missouri, police serve municipalities whereas sheriff's serve counties.  So while a police officer will mostly remain in town, the deputy may find themselves in a city or in the country, or a combination of both.  There are exceptions to this.  Also, a sheriff serves as an elected official, and you may get a new sheriff every 4 years, which means that we deputies have to go to the courthouse and re-take our oaths (get sworn in) under the new sheriff.  Most police chiefs are appointed by city councils.  To my knowledge,  police officers do not have to get sworn in when the chief changes.  camelcluch also makes a good distinction:  that is the sheriff's office runs the county jail and as Lulusgt said, they serve warrants and papers. 


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A police department provides police services for the city it serves. A sheriff's office generally has 3 divisions: courts, jails, and police services. They divide their personnel running the jails, providing court security, and providing police service to contract cities (generally cities that don't have a police dept of their own).


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A sheriff's deputy job is way more political. Like they said, every four years your job comes up for renewal just like the High Sheriff. The Sheriff is in charge of the jail and courts. They serve different types of papers out in the county and city. In our county, the deputies do not do wreck reports and issue very little citations etc. Their main job is to answer calls(in the county), serve papers (before 10pm) and keep the voters happy. The sheriff has jurisdiction county wide including the municipalities within.


Police officers serve mainly warrants and ofa. They also answer calls within the city, do wreck reports, do keep checks, do whatever reports neccessary. And yes this is political as well, but not as much as the deputies. Our detectives and agents investigate incidents in the city. We have jurisdiction within the city limits up to one mile out.


Our two departments do not work well together which is not a very professional attitude. One is democratic and one is republican. Go figure, how hard it is for the low men on the totum pole to co habitate. ha ha...


 


 


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SpartanFury says ...



Hi. I'm C.J., a criminal justice major at Grambling State University in Grambling, Louisiana.


 


What I would really like to know is the difference between the duties of a deputy sheriff and a police officer, if any.


 


Thanks for your time.



 same shit .... different job title.  only difference really is the pay and amout of space ya gotta cover.


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Thank you all for all your input. I greatly appreciate it.

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Unless it is a commonwealth state. There Sheriff's Offices are very different than Police Departments. You also have all sorts of other jobs like constables, jailers, magistrates, etc.  I know Virginia, Kentucky, Mass., Penn, and I think Ga. are the only commonwealth but I could be in error.


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magnet says ...



Unless it is a commonwealth state. There Sheriff's Offices are very different than Police Departments. You also have all sorts of other jobs like constables, jailers, magistrates, etc.  I know Virginia, Kentucky, Mass., Penn, and I think Ga. are the only commonwealth but I could be in error.



Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia


Puerto Rico is also known as a commonwealth, but I'm not sure if it is actually written in their constitution.


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difference in wisconsin is that sheriffs office wheres generally brown uniforms and police where blue lol

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freitag402 says ...



difference in wisconsin is that sheriffs office wheres generally brown uniforms and police where blue lol



In VA they all wear brown uniforms and, for the most part, drive brown vehcles, except in Fairfax County where they drive black (don't know who permitted them to do that...). Police wear navy blue, light blue, or gray uniforms and drive white or navy blue and white cars. Loudoun County deputies try to be police officers but still wear brown and drive white cars with brown and yellow (they'd say it was gold...) lettering.

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magnet says ...



Unless it is a commonwealth state. There Sheriff's Offices are very different than Police Departments. You also have all sorts of other jobs like constables, jailers, magistrates, etc.  I know Virginia, Kentucky, Mass., Penn, and I think Ga. are the only commonwealth but I could be in error.



The job of the Sheriff in most Virginia counties and cities is to server civil process, take care of the jail and housing of prisoners, transport prisoners and provide court security. In large (rural) counties without police departments they also perform the same function as police. There are several counties in Virginia that have gone to a County Police Department (e.g. Fairfax County, Albemarle County, Prince William County). Within these counties there are incorporated cities that have their own departments. It becomes confusing sometimes as the county police may not have concurrent jurisdiction in the independent cities. The city of Fairfax , VA is a prime example. They have their own department, but the main Fairfax County Police HQ is located in the middle of the city.

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charlie914 says ...



magnet says ...



Unless it is a commonwealth state. There Sheriff's Offices are very different than Police Departments. You also have all sorts of other jobs like constables, jailers, magistrates, etc.  I know Virginia, Kentucky, Mass., Penn, and I think Ga. are the only commonwealth but I could be in error.



The job of the Sheriff in most Virginia counties and cities is to server civil process, take care of the jail and housing of prisoners, transport prisoners and provide court security. In large (rural) counties without police departments they also perform the same function as police. There are several counties in Virginia that have gone to a County Police Department (e.g. Fairfax County, Albemarle County, Prince William County). Within these counties there are incorporated cities that have their own departments. It becomes confusing sometimes as the county police may not have concurrent jurisdiction in the independent cities. The city of Fairfax , VA is a prime example. They have their own department, but the main Fairfax County Police HQ is located in the middle of the city.



We do everyting you said including the typical police functions.  We don't have a county police department.

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Flerd says ...



charlie914 says ...



magnet says ...



Unless it is a commonwealth state. There Sheriff's Offices are very different than Police Departments. You also have all sorts of other jobs like constables, jailers, magistrates, etc.  I know Virginia, Kentucky, Mass., Penn, and I think Ga. are the only commonwealth but I could be in error.



The job of the Sheriff in most Virginia counties and cities is to server civil process, take care of the jail and housing of prisoners, transport prisoners and provide court security. In large (rural) counties without police departments they also perform the same function as police. There are several counties in Virginia that have gone to a County Police Department (e.g. Fairfax County, Albemarle County, Prince William County). Within these counties there are incorporated cities that have their own departments. It becomes confusing sometimes as the county police may not have concurrent jurisdiction in the independent cities. The city of Fairfax , VA is a prime example. They have their own department, but the main Fairfax County Police HQ is located in the middle of the city.



We do everyting you said including the typical police functions.  We don't have a county police department.



That's the same in many counties in Virginia. It seems the more populated the counties become, the change the role of the Sheriff here.

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charlie914 says ...



freitag402 says ...



difference in wisconsin is that sheriffs office wheres generally brown uniforms and police where blue lol




 


In the WA County in which I work the most of the deputies wear black jumpsuits just like mine expect the different shoulder patches and mine has POLICE on the back vs. SHERIFF on theirs.  We have black cars and they have a mix of white and white/green.  The SO class A is a green shirt and tan trousers and ours is navy.


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charlie914 says ...



Flerd says ...



charlie914 says ...



magnet says ...



Unless it is a commonwealth state. There Sheriff's Offices are very different than Police Departments. You also have all sorts of other jobs like constables, jailers, magistrates, etc.  I know Virginia, Kentucky, Mass., Penn, and I think Ga. are the only commonwealth but I could be in error.



The job of the Sheriff in most Virginia counties and cities is to server civil process, take care of the jail and housing of prisoners, transport prisoners and provide court security. In large (rural) counties without police departments they also perform the same function as police. There are several counties in Virginia that have gone to a County Police Department (e.g. Fairfax County, Albemarle County, Prince William County). Within these counties there are incorporated cities that have their own departments. It becomes confusing sometimes as the county police may not have concurrent jurisdiction in the independent cities. The city of Fairfax , VA is a prime example. They have their own department, but the main Fairfax County Police HQ is located in the middle of the city.



We do everyting you said including the typical police functions.  We don't have a county police department.



That's the same in many counties in Virginia. It seems the more populated the counties become, the change the role of the Sheriff here.



all the big counties around Atlanta have county pd's and so's.  We just aren't large enough to seperate yet.

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In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Deputy Sheriffs do not have the power of arrest. They transport prisoners, do Court security  and serve court papers. There is a fight on in the State Senate to give them more powers, but it is not looking good.

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irishdm says ...



In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Deputy Sheriffs do not have the power of arrest. They transport prisoners, do Court security  and serve court papers. There is a fight on in the State Senate to give them more powers, but it is not looking good.



They should have arrest powers.  That's just that many more LEO's out there.  Plus if someone acts a fool at the courthouse they need to deal with not someone else. 

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In Virginia some counties do not have a police department so the Sheriff's office is the law enforcement agency along with the corrections and court security. While the cities have a police department, the Sheriff's Office is mainly courts, warrant services, and corrections. The biggest difference though is that here the deputy works at the will of the Sherrif. (ie.. if the Sheriff comes to work one day and decides he does not like you, he can get rid of you and there is nothing you can do about it.)

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xGTown5oh says ...



In Virginia some counties do not have a police department so the Sheriff's office is the law enforcement agency along with the corrections and court security. While the cities have a police depaartment, the Sheriff's Office is mainly courts, warrant services, and corrections. The biggest differnece though is that here the deputy works at the will of the Sherrif. (ie.. if hte Sherrif comes to work one day and decides he does not like you, he can get rid of you and there is nothing you can do about it.)



That's right... The Sheriff can let them go at any time. It's very political...

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Flerd says ...



irishdm says ...



In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Deputy Sheriffs do not have the power of arrest. They transport prisoners, do Court security  and serve court papers. There is a fight on in the State Senate to give them more powers, but it is not looking good.



They should have arrest powers.  That's just that many more LEO's out there.  Plus if someone acts a fool at the courthouse they need to deal with not someone else. 



I agree wholeheartedly, but this is a place where every little town has its own police department, if they have one at all. If not then the State Police is tasked with handing all the little calls from every town. There is no such thing as a county PD in Pennsylvania.

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irishdm says ...



Flerd says ...



irishdm says ...



In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Deputy Sheriffs do not have the power of arrest. They transport prisoners, do Court security  and serve court papers. There is a fight on in the State Senate to give them more powers, but it is not looking good.



They should have arrest powers.  That's just that many more LEO's out there.  Plus if someone acts a fool at the courthouse they need to deal with not someone else. 



I agree wholeheartedly, but this is a place where every little town has its own police department, if they have one at all. If not then the State Police is tasked with handing all the little calls from every town. There is no such thing as a county PD in Pennsylvania.



How does the State Police handle city/town ordinances? I thought they could only handle state laws.