What is a Sheriff?

Also known as: Deputy Sheriff, Chief Deputy Sheriff.

Sheriffs protect lives and property. They gather facts and collect evidence of possible crimes. Their duties depend on the size and type of their organizations. A sheriff’s work can be physically demanding, stressful, and dangerous. Police officers, in general, have one of the highest rates of on-the-job injuries and fatalities.

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What does a Sheriff do?

Sheriffs typically do the following:

  • Enforce laws
  • Respond to calls for service
  • Patrol assigned areas
  • Conduct traffic stops and issue citations
  • Arrest suspects
  • Write detailed reports and fill out forms
  • Prepare cases and testify in court
  • Investigate crimes
  • Collect evidence of crimes
  • Conduct interviews with suspects and witnesses
  • Observe the activities of suspects
  • Arrest suspects
  • Write detailed reports and fill out forms
  • Prepare cases and testify in court.

The daily activities of sheriffs vary with their occupational specialty and whether they are working for a local or government agency. Duties also differ among federal agencies, which enforce different aspects of the law. Regardless of job duties or location, sheriffs at all levels must write reports and keep detailed records that will be needed if they testify in court.

What is the workplace of a Sheriff like?

Sheriffs’ work can be physically demanding, stressful, and dangerous.. In addition to confrontations with criminals, sheriffs need to be constantly alert and ready to deal appropriately with a number of other threatening scenarios.

They regularly work at crime or accident scenes and other traumatic events as well as deal with the death and suffering that they encounter. Although a career in law enforcement may take a toll on their private lives, many officers find it rewarding to help members of their communities.

The jobs of some federal agents require extensive travel, often on short notice. These agents may relocate a number of times over the course of their careers. Some special agents, such as those involved in border patrol, may work outdoors in rugged terrain and in all kinds of weather.


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