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  1. #1
    samhill is offline Just a nice guy :) samhill is an unknown quantity at this point
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    Sheriff vs Police

    I was hoping some would take a few minutes to explain to me the difference between the different levels of law enforcement that I see in the USA. Many times, either through the News or on tv programs, I see officers from the Sheriffs dept. answer calls along with officers from Police dept. I know this is more than likley a simple question to people that are exposed to the different levels of law enforcement. Could someone please explain the difference between, The Sheriff's Dept, Police Dept, State Troopers, The Highway patrol and in Texas the Rangers
    Thanks

  2. #2
    gijoeyl33 is offline Banned gijoeyl33 is infamous around these parts gijoeyl33 is infamous around these parts gijoeyl33 is infamous around these parts gijoeyl33 is infamous around these parts gijoeyl33 is infamous around these parts gijoeyl33 is infamous around these parts gijoeyl33 is infamous around these parts gijoeyl33 is infamous around these parts gijoeyl33 is infamous around these parts
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    The sheriff himself is an elected official and the highest ranking LEO in the county. he has more power then god, but most of the time he doesnt invoke it. highway patrol and state police are basically the same, but their duties differentiate between states.....state police often perform all police duties to include traffic and highway patrol usually just patrols the interstates. in states where there is a Highway Patrol and not a state police, then they add in another agency to do the investigative functions of statewide police work which in TN is called the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, similiar to you TX ranges however not as pretige. State law and agreements usually dictates who gets what call, responds where with who and how.







    Quote Originally Posted by samhill
    I was hoping some would take a few minutes to explain to me the difference between the different levels of law enforcement that I see in the USA. Many times, either through the News or on tv programs, I see officers from the Sheriffs dept. answer calls along with officers from Police dept. I know this is more than likley a simple question to people that are exposed to the different levels of law enforcement. Could someone please explain the difference between, The Sheriff's Dept, Police Dept, State Troopers, The Highway patrol and in Texas the Rangers
    Thanks

  3. #3
    Barenaked is offline Veteran Member Barenaked has a reputation beyond repute Barenaked has a reputation beyond repute Barenaked has a reputation beyond repute Barenaked has a reputation beyond repute Barenaked has a reputation beyond repute Barenaked has a reputation beyond repute Barenaked has a reputation beyond repute Barenaked has a reputation beyond repute Barenaked has a reputation beyond repute Barenaked has a reputation beyond repute Barenaked has a reputation beyond repute
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    It also differs in each state. Some states the Sherrif is only in the jail system and others they are on the streets.
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  4. #4
    gijoeyl33 is offline Banned gijoeyl33 is infamous around these parts gijoeyl33 is infamous around these parts gijoeyl33 is infamous around these parts gijoeyl33 is infamous around these parts gijoeyl33 is infamous around these parts gijoeyl33 is infamous around these parts gijoeyl33 is infamous around these parts gijoeyl33 is infamous around these parts gijoeyl33 is infamous around these parts
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    as far as their normal duties yes, but the elected sheriff is GOD, he can tell the city cops to just work traffic and his guys are taking over in respect to the way the law is written. hell in big horn county, wyoming, federal agents arent even allowed in the county without prior approval from the sheriff

  5. #5
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    Sheriff is elected and therefore receives all his/her power from the citizens that elect him/her. A Sheriff (big wig) doesn't have to be a certified police officer in that state. Sheriff's Departments/Offices main role in Law Enforcement is Court House Security, provide animal control, and to provide a jail to lodge inmates pending trial. They do not have to have a road patrol and in some cases they exercise not to have one to save on budget. City Police work well cities and have jurisdiction within said confines of the city limits. They enforce all laws, and ordinance's of the city, county and state in which they reside. The State Police are the top Law Enforcement agancy in the state, they can go anywhere and handle calls, take report and write citations. As one of my local troopers puts it "Look at it like this, we are the Police for the State of Michigan and the people in cities, counties and townships. Where the county and cities only cover the pople living in that peticular area that they work." I hope this helps you.

  6. #6
    mcsap is offline Veteran member ( retired) mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute
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    In PA, Sheriffs are NOT the chief Law Enforcement Officer in the county. Our DA is the chief law enforcement officer in the county. We have 17 municipal departments in my county, each is an independent dept with it's own chief etc.

    Our Sheriff's deputies do courthouse security, serve their own warrants ( issued by a common pleas judge) , serve protection orders , transport prisoners to and from the jail and do limited traffic enforcement. They do not handle accident investigations, criminal investigations, respond to "calls" from 911 etc. They are armed, carry weapons and drive cars with light bars but are not Police Officers. They have their own academy and statewide certification which is different from a police officer and they cannot just transfer to a police dept without going through the police academy.

    We also have State Police and Municipal Police.

    Municipal police cover Cities, towns , boros and townships that CHOOSE to have them. They have FULL authority to do all of their own law enforcement. We have authority on the interstates within our jurisdictions but State is first due for any incident that happens there.

    State Police cover areas where there are NO municipal police and the Interstate highways for traffic and accidents. Some small departments will call the State Police to assist in serious crimes as they are not equipped to handle them. ( murders, barricaded gunmen etc)
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  7. #7
    gijoeyl33 is offline Banned gijoeyl33 is infamous around these parts gijoeyl33 is infamous around these parts gijoeyl33 is infamous around these parts gijoeyl33 is infamous around these parts gijoeyl33 is infamous around these parts gijoeyl33 is infamous around these parts gijoeyl33 is infamous around these parts gijoeyl33 is infamous around these parts gijoeyl33 is infamous around these parts
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    Again, im from NJ originally, which its outline basically resembles PA. The sheriff has more power then he usually knows what to do with. some states may give different classifications to the title, but whoever is the chief elected LEO in the county, has more power then god himself in that county, they just never use it to its full potential.





    Quote Originally Posted by mcsap
    In PA, Sheriffs are NOT the chief Law Enforcement Officer in the county. Our DA is the chief law enforcement officer in the county. We have 17 municipal departments in my county, each is an independent dept with it's own chief etc.

    Our Sheriff's deputies do courthouse security, serve their own warrants ( issued by a common pleas judge) , serve protection orders , transport prisoners to and from the jail and do limited traffic enforcement. They do not handle accident investigations, criminal investigations, respond to "calls" from 911 etc. They are armed, carry weapons and drive cars with light bars but are not Police Officers. They have their own academy and statewide certification which is different from a police officer and they cannot just transfer to a police dept without going through the police academy.

    We also have State Police and Municipal Police.

    Municipal police cover Cities, towns , boros and townships that CHOOSE to have them. They have FULL authority to do all of their own law enforcement. We have authority on the interstates within our jurisdictions but State is first due for any incident that happens there.

    State Police cover areas where there are NO municipal police and the Interstate highways for traffic and accidents. Some small departments will call the State Police to assist in serious crimes as they are not equipped to handle them. ( murders, barricaded gunmen etc)

  8. #8
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    sheriff is traditionally from a county, goes back to the term She-riff. God trying to find my folder, if I do I'll come back and give you the whole history on it.

    the police later came from municipalities


    just a side note, sheriffs being the more important police power in most of the south goes back to when they were used to find escaped slaves.
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  9. #9
    CO.Dep is offline Junior Member CO.Dep is on a distinguished road
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    In Colorado, every Officer, Deputy, or Trooper has the same amount of power as long as they are a Level 1 Peace Officer. The Police patrol the city limits, The Sheriff Departments patrol the unincorporated areas of their counties, and the State Police patrol the highways and biways. Everyone can assist each other because our powers extend over the entire state of Colorado. I am still considered a cop with powers of arrest even though I leave the county in which I work.

  10. #10
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    Every level of government has its own law enforcement agency.

    FEDERAL
    Various...ATF, FBI, Park Police, Border Agents, Immigration...the list goes on

    STATE
    Highway Patrol, state police

    COUNTY
    Sheriff

    CITY
    Police

    Other governments have police forces, too, like University systems.

    Duties of all these agencies below federal vary from state to state, county to county, and city to city. But the larger jurisdiction always has powers in the smaller one. Meaning, the feds have jurisdiction nationwide and in all cities, but a city police officer does not. A state officer would have powers statewide, and a sheriff's deputy may not (again, depends on state laws).
    Last edited by gdowkpc; 02-08-04 at 01:21 AM.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ngcsubutterbar
    sheriff is traditionally from a county, goes back to the term She-riff. God trying to find my folder, if I do I'll come back and give you the whole history on it.
    "She-riff?" what the h*ll does that mean?

    i think you meant "Shire Reeve." in England, people were put into neighborhood watch groups called shires, which was essentially their county. they were headed by the "Shire Reeve." shire means county and reve means keeper. your history lesson for today.

    in Texas, municipal cops work inside their city. the deputies work all calls in non-incorporated areas of the county, however, they don't normally work accidents. Texas DPS consists mainly of the highway patrol and they handle accidents in non-incorporated areas of the counties. they work all forms of traffic enforcement anywhere they damn well please. they also conduct investigations in vehicle inspections, and work driver license offices. the Texas rangers usually investigate crimes that span over several counties. if one guy commits murder in 3 counties, the rangers will be hunting you down. they are kind of like the coordinator for investigations involving multiple jurisdictions. and if there was any cop you ever considered resisting, i wouldn't make it a ranger. those are some cornbread eatin' fools. those guys make the jolly green giant look petite.

  12. #12
    nealopp is offline Senior Member nealopp is on a distinguished road
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    OK, I guess it's time for CA?

    In CA, all LEO's have enforcement powers throughout the state. That means that if you're a cop with San Jose PD, and you're on vaction in Los Angeles, you can technically write citations, make arrests, etc.

    Sheriff's and their deputies provide police services to the unincorporated areas of their counties, as well as to any contract cities. One of the coolest "godly"powers of a county Sheriff is the ability to literally take over a police dept. If anyone wants to look into the city of East Palo Alto in CA, this happened a few years ago. The San Mateo County Sheriff saw the tremendous crime rate, and the huge amount of corruption going on in that department, he went in and took over the police dept. until they got everything straightened out.

    Yep, the Sheriff IS mightier than God!

    In CA, the Highway Patrol took over the State Police a decade or so ago, so now they provide all the services that most state police agancies do. We also have a Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement (BNE), Fish and Game Wardens, Harbor Patrol, University Police, and countless other LE agencies... it can get pretty tedious trying to list them all!

    Hope this helped, or was a least interesting!

  13. #13
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    Out where my home is.. we have Baltimore County Police.. which do our county work policing. We also have county sheriff's but they just do court stuff. Where Im at school currently, we have Salisbury City Police as well as Wicomico County Sheriff's.. and ive seen the sheriff's come in to the city and pull people over.. so as for juristiction im not to to sure.. but down here the Sheriff is the county cop and court protector.

  14. #14
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    The San Mateo County Sheriff saw the tremendous crime rate, and the huge amount of corruption going on in that department, he went in and took over the police dept. until they got everything straightened out.<------------------thats also what the FBI does.




    ug sorry man I must have left that old folder at home. Anyhow, sheriff comes from england.
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  15. #15
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    In my county, we have a City Sheriff AND a County Sheriff. Neither has more powers than a Chief of police. Our Sheriffs do jail, court security and serve papers. They do no patrol however the deputies that serve papers are certified law enforcement officers and can stop someone for a very blatant offense such as(but not only) driving by a stopped school bus.

    In Virginia the game warden has more powers than a police officer.
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