Difference Between Sheriff and Police

The government has to ensure the maintenance of law and stability in a country. The government gives this responsibility to its officials who take the necessary steps for maintaining the rule of law in the country.

Sheriff vs Police

The main difference between sheriff and police is that sheriffs are considered to be a higher authority, whereas police are considered to be a lower authority. Sheriffs are accountable and responsible for the maintenance of law in the entire country, whereas a police officer is responsible for the safety and security of a specified area.

Sheriff vs Police

In many countries, Sheriffs are given the charge of being administrative, legal officials. They have the power to preside over the court sessions and pass judgment regarding bails, trials, etc.

They have the right to use force to suppress a revolt against the state. They have the right to exercise their power within a well-defined area or region.

Comparison Table Between Sheriff and Police

Parameters of ComparisonSheriffPolice
MeaningSheriff refers to a legal official who has a responsibility to ensure the rule of law and order in a particular country.A police officer refers to a person who has been empowered by the government to enforce the rule of law in a country by minimizing civil disorder and protecting public property.
Area of ControlSheriffs generally have control of the entire state. Their area of responsibility and control may differ from country to country.Police generally have control over a particular region and area as specified by the upper authorities.
PositionSheriffs are superior in position to a police officer as they are the highest law enforcing officers in a country.A police officer is less powerful than a sheriff since he has control over a given area.
Election processSheriffs are elected by the citizens of a state.A police officer is appointed to the post by the government.
JurisdictionThey have an unlimited jurisdiction.They have a limited degree of jurisdiction.
Area of responsibilityA sheriff is required to maintain law and order in the whole state, he also is a legal official who may pass judgments and give decisions on trials and various suits.The responsibility of a police officer is limited to maintaining law and order in his allotted area.

What is Sheriff?

A sheriff is an official who is responsible for maintaining peace and law in the entire country. They are generally elected, but in some countries, they may be selected based on their educational qualifications.

A sheriff may also serve warrants and civil documents. A sheriff is also responsible for transferring offenders and criminals from jails to courts.

A sheriff’s work routine may be stressful, physically demanding, and highly dangerous. They are assigned to often work at highly critical accident and crime scenes.

He is also known as an Administrative legal officer who has the power to pass verdicts on various cases and suits. In the United States, every state has a sheriff’s office that has been built by the government.

What is Police?

Police refers to a constituted body of officers who are responsible for maintaining law and order throughout the country. They are responsible for investigating various cases related to criminal and civil offenses.

The police officers in a particular area are responsible for maintaining law and order in that specific area. They have limited jurisdiction and are directly accountable to the upper authorities.

The major duties of police are:-

  • Promoting and preserving public order is a major duty of the police.
  • Protecting internal security by preventing riots, terrorist attacks, and other militant activities.
  • Protecting public property against any type of violence and unrest.
  • Reducing the rate of crime by taking adequate steps to ensure law and order.

Police officers are not allowed to grant bails and pass verdicts on various legal matters. In India, a person who wishes to become a policeman must pass a particular examination depending on the rank he wants to get placed in.

Main Differences Between Sheriff and Police

  1. Sheriffs are elected by the citizens of the state, whereas a police officer is selected through a particular mode of examination that is followed by a physical test.
  2. A sheriff is accountable to the government or the concerned ministry, whereas a police officer is accountable to his senior.
Difference Between Sheriff and Police

Conclusion

For maintaining peace and law in a country, a government has to appoint various officials like sheriffs and policemen. Both of them perform more or less the same set of duties, but the jurisdiction of both the officials differs.

A sheriff is also known as an administrative, legal officer who has the power to pass judgment on various cases, whereas the sole duty of the police is to promote the rule of law in a specific area.

References

  1. https://www.ojp.gov/pdffiles1/Digitization/113061NCJRS.pdf
  2. https://ps.psychiatryonline.org/doi/abs/10.1176/appi.ps.201300451
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