Research Paper: Sheriff Dept vs. Police

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Sheriff Dept vs. Police Dept.

Although the general public might be inclined to believe that there are little differences between the Sheriff's Department and the Police Department because they both have the purpose of assuring public safety, there are actually a series of dissimilarities between the two. Even with that, the degree to which the job of a sheriff deputy differs from that of a police officer depends on the jurisdiction the two belong to. While sheriffs have somewhat limited power in urban areas, they are the main form of police in most rural regions.

Most police officers have local authority whereas most individuals working for the sheriff's department have influence over the whole county. In urban areas sheriffs can be restricted to performing basic tasks, such as taking care of the county jail, securing courtrooms, and transporting prisoners. In other conditions however, they can take on federal jobs, related to reviewing and charging police officers (Arado, 2000, p. 4).

The main difference between individuals working for the sheriff's department and those working for the police department is the fact that the former enforce law in a county or a certain subdivision within a state while the latter enforce law within the borders of a particular city, town, or village. A police department is typically assigned to a small area. In contrast, a sheriff's department has authority over a large area.

Both departments have the role of imposing safety and protecting the law in the territory they control. However, each of the two performs additional tasks in particular circumstances. A job that sheriff's do and police officers have no authority over is that related to the coroner's office. Sheriff departments are often presented with the task of dealing with deaths that require further analysis.

Police departments normally take care of calls coming only from their jurisdiction, with no power to handle outside calls. In contrast, sheriff departments have a higher role, given that they can take in calls coming from all across the county. Sheriff departments are apparently able to assist police departments because of their higher jurisdiction. It often happens that police departments ask for sheriff departments to step in when they encounter difficulties in accomplishing their missions.

The State Constitution has established the sheriff's office, making it possible for the function's duties to be summarized by the Constitution. Sheriffs are normally assigned on account of elections, as they are elected officials. Police departments are instituted in accordance to municipal regulations, making it possible for police chiefs to be chosen depending on their skills and on their backgrounds.

The office of sheriff stands as the oldest position enforcing the law in the U.S., as it was brought from the old continent along with the first colonists. The term sheriff goes back at the time when people in England referred to law enforcers as shire reeves, considering that they had authority over a shire.

It is uncertain what country was first responsible for the creation of a position presenting an individual with the role of a contemporary sheriff. Some can trace it back at the time of Hammurabi's Code, when people had to behave in accordance with a series of laws imposed by sheriff-like individuals. Also, given the role exercised by Roman consuls, one can believe that they acted similar to a sheriff.

All things considered, the role of sheriff can be linked to an individual who imposes law. Although sheriffs in England had great influence over the lands they were in charge of, matters gradually changed and the position became less important and lost power… [END OF PREVIEW]

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APA Format

Sheriff Dept vs. Police.  (2010, September 13).  Retrieved November 18, 2019, from

MLA Format

"Sheriff Dept vs. Police."  13 September 2010.  Web.  18 November 2019. <>.

Chicago Format

"Sheriff Dept vs. Police."  September 13, 2010.  Accessed November 18, 2019.