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Do all American towns have a sheriff? What do they do?
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Do all American towns have a sheriff? What do they do?

What does a sheriff do? How is the Sheriff different to the Police? I though sheriffs only existed in old black and white cow boy films! I thought they were "pre police police"! How come they still exist? Do they arrest people and lock them in jail the same as the police? Don't you people get The Andy Griffith Show? Opie? Goober? Gomer? Err NO! I remember Sheriff Rosco (?) in the Dukes of Hazrd and he just seemed like a fat waste of space who was useless! The Basset Hound seemed more use! Is that "typical" of sheriffs?? Can you have a female one!? Oh James you mean i can't come over there an be a female sheriff on Trigger? I did quite fancy myself as a lone ranger sheriff on a horse! I wanted to ride a horse and wear a stetson... with a HUGE badge stating very clearly for all to see - SHERIFF Was Deputy Dawg a sheriff?

Anil S
Hired ones are the cops and elected ones are Sheriffs . Ladies too can contest for but so far not to the memory data base .

summer bear
My dad was the county sheriff for about 7 years. He was like the leader of the police force. LOL, Sheriff Roscoe of Dukes of Hazzard is NOT a typical Sheriff! that was a comedy show with the law being presented as the antagonist of the story, i.e. they were lazy and did some crooked things, and weren't the brightest guys. also, Sheriff is an elected position. You have to win the election to be a Sheriff. You can certainly be female and be a Sheriff. I don't personally know of any though.

IrishPrincess loves shep & SCD
Im guessing that the sherrif is needed to law and order in the town. the only time i have seen a sherrif is in black and white movies

Pose wearing a badge.

Leslie S
In most of the US a sheriff is the elected law enforcement officer for the county. The sheriff runs the county jail, the court protection officers (bailiffs) and the county police. The county police do regular police work in the unincorporated areas of the county and in towns that contract with them to do police Cities usually have their own police departments. Any state recognized government entity, such a school district, transit district or hospital governing district can set up their own police department with full police powers. In 49 out of 50 states no matter who you work for , sheriff or city or whatever, as a sworn police officer you have to meet minimum standards and testing set up by the state. In western movies (and often in real life)the sheriff was usually the county guy, the town constable or town marshall was the town law enforcer and the district marshall was the federal representative when the area was a territory and not yet a state.

New name, it must be spring!
Usually counties have sheriffs, while cities have police forces. So a sheriff covers a wider more rural territory of what we call "unincorporated towns" and villages. Which are just municipalities with varying amounts of power. Now in the real rural parts of the state, the sheriff is quite powerful as he has a large territory. in the suburban areas, the sheriff will supplement the regular police covering the small towns and townships. A town that only has two or three hundred voters can't afford their own police force. Another big variation is that the sheriff is often an elected position, while a police force is nearly always under the mayor. Don't you people get The Andy Griffith Show? Opie? Goober? Gomer?

UK here. The county sheriff doesn't get involved with the everyday police work, as in street working. If there is something big going on then he/she will. Nothing like being seen on TV news as taking control. No different to the Uk Chief of Police. They regulate Police working, organise, and oversee legislation is in place..

Arizona Indian Doll
No. The area of Connecticut I grew up in was very rural and the towns small so the county had a sheriff but not each particular town in it. To be honest I don't know what the county sheriff really did, I just knew he was an elected official. Our state police have barracks all over the state and growing up I always saw their presence a lot more, I never saw any of the county sheriffs we had with my own eyes.

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