The power of a Sheriff

The power of a Sheriff

Posted in the Bracey Forum

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concerned

Vernon Hill, VA

#1 Dec 16, 2007
Should the Sheriff of any county have so much power? Shoulded the laws be changed, so that the Sheriff need to report to some one onther than himself. How about the board of sup. over see any how the office is ran. The board could also over see the hiring and firing of offices to ensure that they is done in a fair manner. They would also check that grant money is being used for the reason that it was requested for, and not for something else.
Any one have a piont of view on this One?
My view

Vernon Hill, VA

#2 Dec 16, 2007
Yes, the sheriff has to much power. Look at fox with all his miss deads. The voters will can him next time I'm sure. When this happens I hope the next guy will look into his spending and any other wrong doing.
Jimmy

Erie, PA

#3 Dec 20, 2007
You should learn the "The history of the Office of the Sheriff". For the people by the people. If you have a bad Sheriff then oust him in the next election. People have lost there understanding of the Office of the Sheriff due to today's BS. The Sheriff is and always should be the highlest level of law enforcement authority in his jurisdiction. He is the keeper of the county and protector of all.
Jimmy

Erie, PA

#4 Dec 20, 2007
THE SHERIFF - POLITICALLY SPEAKING

The Sheriff offers the people under his county jurisdiction, the most effective liaison to law enforcement. When citizens have a complaint concerning some problem in their county, the Sheriff is ultimately their best remedy. Although modern times have placed more glamorous attention on local and state police, they create a myriad of problems in reality.

The Sheriff can respond faster to any citizen’s complaint then any police department. This is one of the many forgotten powers of the Sheriff in the minds of the citizenry. His fast and efficient abilities for handling such concerns are derived from his constitutional foundation.

As an elected law enforcement representative, he has great political power on the direction, time spent, and discretion of any request from a constituent. This is in stark contrast to the bureaucratic red tape of the modern, contracted police authority.
Jimmy

Erie, PA

#5 Dec 20, 2007
LEGAL POWER OF THE SHERIFF
Today, especially in the northeast portion of the United States, there is some controversy over the legal power and authority of the modern day sheriffs. A March-April 2000 issue of Sheriff magazine addressed this issue head-on and appears to be the most recent clarification of the sheriff authority. Even though the title has been altered at times within the last 1200 years, the legal authority has remained almost fully resistant to change.
Looking at a six (6) year old Pennsylvania Supreme Court case, the court held that the "constitutionally designated sheriff in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a law enforcement officer who is vested with full powers and duties to stop motor vehicles, issue citations for motor vehicle violations under statutory code, and make arrests with or without warrants" (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania vs. Leet, 585 A.2d 1033). Sheriffs and their deputies are basically police officers. Judge Carillo, who presided over this case, even went as far as writing how "instinctively,..., we are reminded of Sherwood Forest, where the Sheriff of Nottingham was the chief law enforcement officer who possessed far-reaching powers" and "King Henry of England states to the Sheriff of Nottingham,...But look well to it, Master Sheriff, for I will have my laws obeyed by all men within my kingdom, and if thou art not able to enforce them, thou art no sheriff for me."
For many years it has been known that modern sheriffs are vested with the powers and duties possessed by their predecessors under common law. In 1941, a landmark graduate student dissertation was written by an A. Anderson and stated "While the legislature may impose additional duties upon the sheriff, where he is recognized as a constitutional officer, it cannot restrict or reduce his powers as allowed by the Constitution, or where they were recognized when the constitution was adopted." Anderson continued on to say, "The legislature may vary the duties of a constitutional office, but it may not change the duties so as to destroy the power to perform the duties of the office."
Anderson found that it was legally acceptable for state legislatures to impose upon sheriffs new duties growing out of public policy or convenience. However, the state legislatures still can not strip the sheriffs of their "time honored and common law functions". The legislatures cannot "devolve them upon the incumbents of other offices created by legislative authority." From this, today’s sheriffs have both expressed constitutional and statutory grants of authority. They also have implied authority based on their predecessors actions and can utilize it when it will aid their expressed authority.
The modern sheriffs’ provinces and scope of authority can be determined by studying the modern day legislation. The sheriff has the right and duty to enforce any of this legislation as it concerns securing the peace, order, safety, and comfort of the community under his jurisdiction. In enforcing such legislation, the sheriff satisfies his constitutional obligations in enforcing the democracy’s laws, protecting the lives and property of it’s people, and safeguarding the health and morals of the community.
Jimmy

Erie, PA

#6 Dec 20, 2007
As the sheriffs were appointed in the New World, they acquired the power of arrest for all offenses attempted or committed in their presence, without a warrant. Any felony committed not in their presence could also be reasonable grounds for an arrest under the ancient common law, matching the exact measure for an arrest by any police officer today with one modern day addition - articulable facts leading a reasonable police officer to believe there exists probable cause that the crime did, is, or will occur.

In conclusion, modern sheriff duties are performed by order of the people instead of by order of the King or Queen, so it is easy to see how the legal authority is politically oriented. Sheriffs can maneuver through court battles involving a challenge to their authority and come out successfully when they address the legal protections of their office concerning their constitutional obligations, and no legal system or authority in the United States can challenge it with any standing. As so, the sheriff and his deputies have retained their authority to arrest without a warrant for all crimes, however defined, committed in their presence, and for felonies not committed in their presence. These powers could not be truncated when the American legal system changed from common law to statutory law due to the verbiage of the Constitution, so the Sheriff exists as both an ancient and a modern authority.
Jimmy

Erie, PA

#7 Dec 20, 2007
ROBBIE JOHNSON SHERIFF RT

Macon, GA

#8 Jan 18, 2008
A SHERIFF Belongs to the people of his County.
He is their link to their problems. He should be there to solve their prblems no matter what.If the people can't get to him he has failed.
god help us

Crewe, VA

#9 Jan 26, 2008
fox has failed. I failed myself for voting for him.
Neutral Observer

Lynchburg, VA

#10 Jan 26, 2008
god help us wrote:
fox has failed. I failed myself for voting for him.
Your mother failed when she had you
neutral

Crewe, VA

#11 Jan 29, 2008
Neutral Observer wrote:
<quoted text>
Your mother failed when she had you
NOT SOUNDING VERY NEUTRAL THERE ARE YOU BUDDY?
TRH

Vernon Hill, VA

#12 Feb 2, 2008
I underI understand all the powers of the Sheriff. We as citizens of a county elect a sheriff to do the best they can for our community. Is it enough?
In a large populated area a Sheriff deals mainly with the jail, and stupendous and little else. The local police handle the other problems, because the city might cover the entire county.
In rural America the Sheriff covers a lot more than the jail. Should we as citizens of the county stand by and allow an out dated way of life run our county. The Sheriff is not required to have anything more than a high school education. The men that he appoints as his top men are required to have a high school education. There is no test to ensure that they are able to handle the stress of the job, are they able to deal with different personalities, and so on. As with Mecklenburg County, the good old boy syndrome is still alive.
No human resource person is hired in the department to ensure that the women and men are treated fairly. So the Sheriff that thinks he is president can miss treat any he wants with no repercussions. There is no association for the deputies.
The Sheriff has an association that backs him. The Deputies have no one to back him or her in a time of need. The county administrators are scared of the Sheriff, the Mayors of the towns with in the county are scared of the Sheriff, and the Chief of police in the towns are scared of the Sheriff.
So we as voters are asking people to work at a job to protect us,(that could cost them their lives) for four years? Hoping that they will have a job the next four years and so on after each election. That is a lot to ask of a person.
AS it stands now no deputy in any county in Va. Has a secure job, no mater how good of a job they do. No wander there are so many deputies turning to the wrong side of the law. Giving your heart and sole to a job that no one cares about from the governor down is even sadder.
This would also explain why so many Sheriffs are turning to the wrong side of the law. They have four whole years to do what ever they want with out being questioned. What a job! No one to ask why, no one to make sure that the “T” is crossed. How much evidence does the Sheriff get to pocket, it could be money, guns, drugs and no one the wiser.
That is a good reason to not want some people around you that might question how and why some things are done certain ways.
Just a thought, any one else have any
TRH

Vernon Hill, VA

#13 Feb 2, 2008
A SHERIFF Belongs to the people of his County.
He is their link to their problems. He should be there to solve their prblems no matter what.If the people can't get to him he has failed.

I agree with you 100%
But once voted in , what else can a county do, but ride it out for four years and pray.We have a Sheriff that has been lets say very dishonest with the voters and his men.
Truth

Enterprise, LA

#14 Feb 3, 2008
TRH wrote:
A SHERIFF Belongs to the people of his County.
He is their link to their problems. He should be there to solve their prblems no matter what.If the people can't get to him he has failed.
I agree with you 100%
But once voted in , what else can a county do, but ride it out for four years and pray.We have a Sheriff that has been lets say very dishonest with the voters and his men.
The facts are: A sheriff was elected by the public..A few malcontents were released as were within the sheriff's prerogative..Now we have the same few stirring the pot, making false and slanderous statements. They need to go get a job and quit the bitching. There will be another election in four years and I guarantee the same ones will be hollerin again...I quit.
malcontents HA

Vernon Hill, VA

#15 Feb 3, 2008
I know some that were very happy with the job and only wanted things to be better. If the reason fox let them go is because they were malcontents why then did he tell them that it was because they supported the other man. And, in some cases becouse their spouse supported the other man. If these employees were so bad how is it that some made it the rank of sergeant? They have the right to support who they want! If the other guy had won, then you would have been the malcontent. So, next time when we have a new sheriff and he releases Snead it will be o.k. to say he was a malcontent. As far as stirring the pot goes, isn't what the fox camp did to the Hawkins supporters? I think that is why they got "let go." Also, I know that lies have been told on some as to why they were "let go." I wonder who is stirring that pot?
TRH

Vernon Hill, VA

#16 Feb 7, 2008
The question is" How much power should a sheriff ant sheriff have?"Should one person with out the help of a board of directors or any other type of commity to ensure that there is fair treatment of all, this to include the people in the county and the emplyees.Would like to see some honesty piont of views.Not hear say.
Bob Hope

United States

#17 Feb 19, 2008
TRH

I pose this question in response to your question. How much power should the President have? They are basicly the same position in two differant levels of government. Both are the executive branch of government.
TRH

Vernon Hill, VA

#18 Feb 23, 2008
The president has several adviser that help him come to a decision based on fact or as many facts that can be found. These advisors are also well rounded in their ability to support the president when called upon. The president usually has had several different positions in life that will help him to grow and gain the knowledge needed for the job.
After the president has been elected there are a lot of people that may not keep the same job. These are also people that might have a different point of view,

The bottom line with the president and his staff is that they will decide if we go to war, how to protect the country as a whole, try to get different laws passed and so on.

As fare as the sheriff goes, he does not have many different jobs to ensure that he has the ability and knowledge to perform his job. The sheriff of a county does not protect us from going to war, he changes no laws, but he can change the handbook that the department uses, to what he wants. He has no board of directors to advise him. He may have two people that also have the limited knowledge that he has.
I personnel feel that the president and a sheriff can fall into the same category if that as a voter is what you want.

As a voter I do not fell that they are even close to being on the same level. It is something that we as voters have allowed to remain unchanged for many years. From some of the research I have done, the southern states is the only area in the United States that still enforce the age-old ways of the sheriff. Most of the states have modernized the departments. The power of the sheriff is limited. This keeps him from wasting taxpayer’s money from grants on useless items.

The question again is “do you think that the sheriff should have the power that he has.” Not about the way it is. If you look up corrupt sheriffs on the net, it is very interesting. Does any one have an open mind, which may see things in a different light and not by what has been going on for years?

If you think that it should be the way it is, WHY do you fell that away?
If you think that it should be different then WHY should it be different?
BossLady

Boones Mill, VA

#19 Feb 24, 2008
Glad to see we have moved around to this site. I'll try to contact moses and SR.
Bob Hope

United States

#20 Mar 2, 2008
I believe the present way our local government is set provides the citizens with a checks and balance system. If the Sheriff was governed by the board of supervisors as a police chief is controls by a city counsel or the state police is controlled by the Governor then that would take one of the branches out of our local government. As it is now there are three branches, the executive branch (the sheriff), the judicial branch (the courts Judges), and the legislative ( the board of supervisors).

No one branch has total control. The sheriff enforces the law, the judge interprets and make judgement, and the board makes the county laws.

When a county take primary law enforcement from the sheriff and forms a county police the chief answers to the board. you have given the board 2/3 of the power.

For example, if the board of supervisors passed a county ordnance that was totally unfair to the people of the county the sheriff could protect the citizens by not enforcing the code and the board could not make him. On the other hand the county police chief could face loosing his job if he didn't enforce the unfair law. The board could fire and hire until they found a chief that would. Now I know that is far fetched but I hope you see my point.

Sheriff's are elected by the people. When you say a sheriff should not have so much power you are saying the people don't have enough sense to select someone to protect them.

The Office of any Constitutional Office is set up the same way. We elect the person to hold that office and choose who works for them. The system does not allow for, we the citizens, to micro manage the day to day operations. If the sheriff does not want you working for him or her then you are let go. Those are his decisions to make.

When it is time to elect again in four years I hope we look at the job that has been done by the Sheriff and his deputies and not at who he fired or hired for our decision.

If the present Sheriff does not do a good job during these four years and someone runs that can do better, then we need to elect a new Sheriff. But if the Sheriff's Office continues to do a good job as they have under the leadership of Sheriff Fox then he should be elected again.

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