A sheriff is a law enforcement officer who is in charge of enforcing the law within a county. They are usually elected by the people in the county and can be re-elected as many times as they want. They often serve four-year terms.
A sheriff has many responsibilities, such as:
- Enforcing the law in their jurisdiction
- Handling civil process, including evictions and subpoenas
- Serving court orders
- Prisoner transportation
- Court security
- Executing warrants of arrest and search warrants
A sheriff’s duties vary depending on the state, county or jurisdiction. A sheriff’s duties are to enforce all laws, to maintain order, and to protect life and property within his or her jurisdiction. The sheriff has full police powers, including making arrests, serving warrants, carrying firearms, and enforcing criminal laws. A sheriff also performs other duties such as maintaining jails, providing security at public events like fairs or parades, patrolling unincorporated areas of their jurisdiction that are not served by other local police agencies (known as “country policing”), and managing a county’s civil process service.