What Does a Sheriff Do?

Law enforcement in the United States includes those working for the federal government and those working at the state and local levels. A sheriff works at the local level supervising those working in their office and working to increase the safety and security of those living in their county. If you are interested in a career in law enforcement and want to apply for a job with your local sheriff’s department, you need to know more about a sheriff’s job responsibilities.

Create Schedules and Assignments

Working as a sheriff often means that you are responsible for the officers working in your department. Sheriff’s departments often feature officers riding bikes around town, patrolling on foot and driving around in official cars.  A sheriff is in charge of creating the weekly schedules and assignments for officers in the department. Depending on the size of the area served and local events requiring additional staffing, scheduling officers could be a challenging responsbility.

Deliver and Serve Court Orders

The officers working in the sheriff’s department deliver and serve orders and paperwork as dictated by the local court system.  This documentation can range from eviction notices to criminal charges. While some cities mail documents via certified mail, the court can also request that the sheriff deliver the paperwork in person. Sheriffs deliver paperwork to defendants who must appear in court on a specific date.  Sheriffs also deliver summons to eyewitnesses who must testify in court. In the case of foreclosures, the sheriff’s department is responsible for ensuring that those living in the house know when they need to leave and that they leave by or on the date ordered by the court.

Observe Accidents

Insurance companies pay claims after a car accident or an accident that involves a pedestrian, but most insurers request that policy holders have proof of the accident. If the accident causes damage worth $500 or more, most areas require that a police officer come to the scene and write a report of the accident. Sheriffs will also come to the scene to help gather witness testimoney that can be used in the report. Law enforcement officials use those reports, and their own observations, when completing the final accident report.

Investigate and Arrest

A sheriff’s job responsibilities also include arresting criminals and investigating crimes. Sheriffs arrive at the scene after getting word of an incident and they work with other law enforcement officials to document the scene and get an idea of what happened. Sheriffs question those at the scene to learn more about the incident and keep track of the evidence recovered at the scene. After finding proof of criminal activity, sheriffs have the legal right to take suspects back to the jail to ask any additional questions.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the amount of money sheriffs earned increased by .07 percent in a single year to $28.23 an hour. Sheriffs handle many of the same tasks as other officers do, and they put their lives on the line every day. A sheriff’s job responsibilities include arresting criminals, investigating crimes, scheduling other officers and working as a representative of the court. Working as a sheriff is just one of the ways you can serve your community and work in law enforcement.