What’s the difference between Police,...

What’s the difference between Police, Sheriffs, and Constables?

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JIM

San Antonio, TX

#1 Dec 9, 2008
I am looking for a career here in San Antonio as a Peace Officer. There are many choices to pick from. Can someone give me guidance as to what is the difference between job descriptions among the agencies listed. These agencies are the ones I see the most here in San Antonio and would like to consider employment with one. Thanks!!
JIM

San Antonio, TX

#2 Dec 9, 2008
According to CCP 2.12,Who Are Peace Officers

1. The following are peace officers:

(1) sheriffs, their deputies, and those reserve deputies who hold a permanent peace officer license issued under Chapter 1701, Occupations Code;

(2) constables, deputy constables, and those reserve deputy constables who hold a permanent peace officer license issued under Chapter 1701, Occupations Code;

(3) marshals or police officers of an incorporated city, town, or village, and those reserve municipal police officers who hold a permanent peace officer license issued under Chapter 1701, Occupations Code;
etc.,

All agencies listed are are considered Law Enforcement Departments as defined above. However, each agency has different missions to carry out. Additionally, they all have the same responsibility to preserve the peace within there jurisdiction By command of Article 2.13 Code of Criminal Procedure, it is the duty of every peace officer to:

Preserve the peace within the officer’s jurisdiction by all lawful means;interfere without warrant to prevent or suppress crime where authorized by the Code of Criminal Procedure; execute all lawful criminal process issued to the officer by any magistrate or court;
give notice to some magistrate of all offenses committed within jurisdiction; arrest offenders without warrant in every case where the officer is authorized by law.

One more thing, each one requires different training and training hours.. But the minimum 620 hours required by TCOLESE must be met by all agencies.

Hopefully that answers your question
Anonymous

San Antonio, TX

#3 Dec 9, 2008
He answered everything above, but in more simple terms your general "police" officer is usually a city employee ie: SAPD, Helotes PD, etc... A sheriff's Deputy is a peace officer employeed with the county ie: Bexar County Sheriff's Department, Kendall County Sheriff's Department, and are usually selected to work under the County Sheriff who is elected in 4 year terms. The upside to working for a City that I have seen is usually there is a higher pay scale, and more job security because of less turnover through election. If you take a position with a County you are subject to a new Sheriff every 4 years, and if he is not satisfied with what is going on in the department he can "clean house". The upside of working for a County is that you have a larger jurisdiction, and are working generaly a more friendly environment where as if you work for SAPD your jurisdiction is within the city limits generaly and the work from what I have heard is tougher. Hence the justification in pay difference. These are not always the cases, and always keep in mind smaller departments usually mean more turnover, and less pay. Also there are positions for commissioned peace officers with some local organizations such as Universities, USAA, etc.... Hope that helps.
Ray

San Antonio, TX

#4 Dec 10, 2008
A constable is a peace officer, and therefore has the statutory duties and authority of a peace officer. Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Ann. art. 2.12(2)(Vernon 2005); Tex. Att'y Gen. Op. Nos. GA-0189 (2004) at 3-4, JC-0462 (2002) at 3. As background to your question, we note that generally "a peace officer is a peace officer only while in his jurisdiction and when the officer leaves that jurisdiction, he cannot perform the functions of his office." Thomas v. State, 864 S.W.2d 193, 196 (Tex. App.-Texarkana 1993, writ ref'd). As an exception to this general rule, five categories of peace officers, constables among them, may make an arrest outside their jurisdiction without a warrant for any crimes committed in their presence or view other than certain Transportation Code offenses. See Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Ann. art. 14.03(g)(Vernon 2005).(2)

We conclude that a constable's authority as a peace officer to investigate offenses is not limited to the constable's precinct, but extends throughout the county. However, we note that a constable is but one kind of peace officer with countywide jurisdiction, including sheriffs, see Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Ann. art. 2.17 (Vernon 2005); deputy sheriffs, see Tex. Loc. Gov't Code Ann.§ 85.003(e)(Vernon 1999); investigators for county attorneys, see Dominguez v. State, 924 S.W.2d 950, 954 (Tex. App.-El Paso 1996, no writ); investigators for some district attorneys, see Dominguez, 924 S.W.2d at 954; and peace officers employed by institutions of higher learning, see Tex. Educ. Code Ann.§ 51.203(b)(3)(Vernon Supp. 2004-05). Although all of these peace officers have countywide jurisdiction, each category of peace officer has a distinct law enforcement mission.

ADDITIONALLY:
The Constables are paid by the County, and their Law Enforcement Commissions are still carried by the Governor of the State of Texas making them state officers as they were in the early history of Texas. Constables are the only Law Enforcement mandated by the Texas Constitution, truly the Constable are "The People's Police Officer".

***In plain simple words, Constables and Sheriffs have jurisdiction both in the City and County Wide, while Police have jurisdiction in their respective city only. But even with the extra responsibilities put upon the Sheriffs and Constables, SAPD gets paid pretty well and they have an excellent police academy .
eger

San Antonio, TX

#5 Dec 11, 2008
I've have never heard law enforcement being referred to as "peace officers." Interesting.... I thought they usually call them Leo's.

Since: Dec 08

Bonner Springs, KS

#6 Dec 11, 2008
The State of Texas refers to them as "Peace Officers" as a general term. Other states are probably different and the common term within the industry is Law Enforcement Officer.

As a matter of history: The name Sheriff actually comes from the term Shire Reeve. In old england the villages were called Shires. Each shire had a person who was responsible for the Law enforcement within the shire. The title for this position was "Reeve"; hence the Shire Reeve. Over the years this became what we know today as the Sheriff.
COWBOY

San Antonio, TX

#7 Dec 12, 2008
JIM wrote:
I am looking for a career here in San Antonio as a Peace Officer. There are many choices to pick from. Can someone give me guidance as to what is the difference between job descriptions among the agencies listed. These agencies are the ones I see the most here in San Antonio and would like to consider employment with one. Thanks!!
IT IS ALWAYS A PLEASURE TO WELCOME OTHERS WHO WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN PEOPLE'S LIVES. HOPEFULLY THAT IS WHY YOUR CONSIDERING JOINING LAW ENFORCEMENT.
AS A POLICE INSTRUCTOR I AM REQUIRED TO BE ON TOP OF QUESTIONS SUCH AS THE ONE YOU HAVE ASKED.
IT IS QUITE SIMPLE, TDPS, TABC, PARK POLICE, SHERIFFS, CONSTABLE’S, POLICE, SCHOOL POLICE, RAIL ROAD POLICE, ETC,. ARE ALL CONSIDERED “PEACE OFFICERS” AS DEFINED IN (CCP 2.12 “WHO ARE TEXAS PEACE OFFICERS”). ALL THESE AGENCIES ARE COMMISSIONED BY TEXAS COMMISSION ON LAW ENFORCEMENT STANDARDS AND EDUCATION WHO IS THE GOVERNING AGENCY FOR POLICE DEPARTMENTS IN TEXAS. THE ONLY DIFFERENCE IS THE LEVEL OF TRAINING AND MISSIONS.
FOR EXAMPLE, TEXAS COMMISSION ON LAW ENFORCEMENT STANDARDS AND EDUCATION REQUIRES THAT ALL THE ABOVE AGENCIES HAVE AT THE MINIMUM 620 HOURS WHICH IS PRESENTLY REQUIRED TO BE A PEACE OFFICER. HOWEVER, AGENCIES SUCH AS CONSTABLES AND SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT ARE MANDATED BY LAW TO RECEIVE ADDITIONAL TRAINING THAT POLICE OFFICERS ARE NOT REQUIRED BY LAW. ALL AGENCIES CARRY DIFFERENT MISSIONS BUT HAVE THE SAME PURPOSE,“PRESERVE THE PEACE WITHIN THEIR JURISDICTION”. HOPEFULLY I HAVE ANSWERED YOUR QUESTION.
Officer J D Buck Savage

San Antonio, TX

#8 Dec 12, 2008
COWBOY wrote:
<quoted text>
IT IS ALWAYS A PLEASURE TO WELCOME OTHERS WHO WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN PEOPLE'S LIVES. HOPEFULLY THAT IS WHY YOUR CONSIDERING JOINING LAW ENFORCEMENT.
AS A POLICE INSTRUCTOR I AM REQUIRED TO BE ON TOP OF QUESTIONS SUCH AS THE ONE YOU HAVE ASKED.
IT IS QUITE SIMPLE, TDPS, TABC, PARK POLICE, SHERIFFS, CONSTABLE’S, POLICE, SCHOOL POLICE, RAIL ROAD POLICE, ETC,. ARE ALL CONSIDERED “PEACE OFFICERS” AS DEFINED IN (CCP 2.12 “WHO ARE TEXAS PEACE OFFICERS”). ALL THESE AGENCIES ARE COMMISSIONED BY TEXAS COMMISSION ON LAW ENFORCEMENT STANDARDS AND EDUCATION WHO IS THE GOVERNING AGENCY FOR POLICE DEPARTMENTS IN TEXAS. THE ONLY DIFFERENCE IS THE LEVEL OF TRAINING AND MISSIONS.
FOR EXAMPLE, TEXAS COMMISSION ON LAW ENFORCEMENT STANDARDS AND EDUCATION REQUIRES THAT ALL THE ABOVE AGENCIES HAVE AT THE MINIMUM 620 HOURS WHICH IS PRESENTLY REQUIRED TO BE A PEACE OFFICER. HOWEVER, AGENCIES SUCH AS CONSTABLES AND SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT ARE MANDATED BY LAW TO RECEIVE ADDITIONAL TRAINING THAT POLICE OFFICERS ARE NOT REQUIRED BY LAW. ALL AGENCIES CARRY DIFFERENT MISSIONS BUT HAVE THE SAME PURPOSE,“PRESERVE THE PEACE WITHIN THEIR JURISDICTION”. HOPEFULLY I HAVE ANSWERED YOUR QUESTION.
Outstanding Cowboy! Ben Lively would be proud of you!
County Employee

San Antonio, TX

#9 Dec 12, 2008
Anonymous wrote:
He answered everything above, but in more simple terms your general "police" officer is usually a city employee ie: SAPD, Helotes PD, etc... A sheriff's Deputy is a peace officer employeed with the county ie: Bexar County Sheriff's Department, Kendall County Sheriff's Department, and are usually selected to work under the County Sheriff who is elected in 4 year terms. The upside to working for a City that I have seen is usually there is a higher pay scale, and more job security because of less turnover through election. If you take a position with a County you are subject to a new Sheriff every 4 years, and if he is not satisfied with what is going on in the department he can "clean house". The upside of working for a County is that you have a larger jurisdiction, and are working generaly a more friendly environment where as if you work for SAPD your jurisdiction is within the city limits generaly and the work from what I have heard is tougher. Hence the justification in pay difference. These are not always the cases, and always keep in mind smaller departments usually mean more turnover, and less pay. Also there are positions for commissioned peace officers with some local organizations such as Universities, USAA, etc.... Hope that helps.
Bexar County has come a long way from those days. Thank God!!! You are very correct when you say the sheriff’s office and constable’s office are very political offices. It’s my understanding that this type of employment practice is still going on in smaller counties in Texas.

As for Bexar County, they have formed a Law Enforcement Civil Service Department which does not allow Officials to fire based on elections or political parties. Additionally, they have associations such as, the Bexar County Deputy Sheriff’s Association, Bexar County Deputy Constable’s Association, Bexar County Adult Probation Association who have attorneys on stand by if the need should arise.

The County of Bexar still allows the sheriff and constable at their discretion to hire or fire any of their Chief Deputies who are not protected under civil service.
SAN ANTONIO

San Antonio, TX

#10 Dec 13, 2008
Here is the Salary for employment with the San Antonio Police Department.

Police Cadet $2,300.00

Probationary Police Officer $3,012.00

Police Officer - 1st Year $3,467.00

Police Officer - 3rd Year $4,172.00

Police Officer - 5th Year $4,452.00

Plus additional incentives
Bexar County

San Antonio, TX

#11 Dec 13, 2008
Here is the Salary for employment with the county of Bexar as a Peace Officer.

Starting base pay for Deputies is at

$ 3, 336.00

and may increase depending on experience and education.

Plus additional incentives.
Difference

San Antonio, TX

#12 Jan 4, 2009
For the record, I am not an employee for the sheriff’s office, but I call it, how I see it. Prior to the Sheriffs Office hiring from outside rather then from within. There was really not much of a difference between SAPD and Bexar County. I am tried of hearing people say that city is the better employer.

Really, How? From the looks of it above, you really can’t say it’s the pay rate. So, the only other thing left is the training?

Okay, lets analyze this.

City receives about 9 months of Law Enforcement training in the police academy while the sheriff’s receive 4 months of Law Enforcement Training in their academy. Okay, I see now what you are talking about.

But what people fail to recognize is that these sheriff’s deputies receive additional training in police academies such as AACOG, etc for an additional 8 + months of training for their peace officer certificate, and lets not forget they must obtain a jailer's dual license, which equals to another 3 to 4 months of training at their academy. They are also required to work in the jail prior to patrol for two years. So, with that being said, I believe they are more then qualified officers with a total of 16 months of training, plus two years of jail experience. They are seriously under paid for being over qualified peace officers.
Tyler Durdin

San Antonio, TX

#13 Jan 7, 2009
JIM wrote:
I am looking for a career here in San Antonio as a Peace Officer. There are many choices to pick from. Can someone give me guidance as to what is the difference between job descriptions among the agencies listed. These agencies are the ones I see the most here in San Antonio and would like to consider employment with one. Thanks!!
Whatever you do, don't become a Park Ranger, all they do is count squirrels and pegions all day. Try to become one of San Antonios Finest. Apply with SAPD or Bexar County Sheriffs Office. You'd be a better Officer than those wannabe Park Police could ever dream of being....
Ron

San Antonio, TX

#14 Jan 8, 2009
Does any one know how are the two new elected constables working out? Is there any major changes noticed within the precincts.
stewie griffin

Bandera, TX

#15 Jan 8, 2009
Ignore Tyler Durin. He and buck savage have a lot in common, especially the ego. What a dousche. Check out each agency and what they offer. Dont let some PUTZ make up your mind because they have an agenda of hate for people who have less than them. Jealousy is an ugly thing, especially if it comes from this sac, tyler.
stewie griffin

Bandera, TX

#16 Jan 8, 2009
and it is spelled "piegons" not pegions, tyler you moron!!!!!Guess they only teach you how to think you are God, not how to spell words at SAPD.
Tyler Durdin

San Antonio, TX

#17 Jan 8, 2009
stewie griffin wrote:
Ignore Tyler Durin. He and buck savage have a lot in common, especially the ego. What a dousche. Check out each agency and what they offer. Dont let some PUTZ make up your mind because they have an agenda of hate for people who have less than them. Jealousy is an ugly thing, especially if it comes from this sac, tyler.
I think you need to learn how to spell pigeon, douche, and then you may use these words to attempt to promote your support for a useless division of the City. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate Park Rangers nor am I jealous of them. I feel that they should never have had their titles changed to imply that they are on an even level as the real Officers who patrol the city and maintain order in other places besides Park restrooms and hikers trails in the various parks in San Antonio.
Cleveland Brown

San Antonio, TX

#18 Jan 8, 2009
Ron wrote:
Does any one know how are the two new elected constables working out? Is there any major changes noticed within the precincts.
Yeah, alot of their Deputys abandoned ship and headed to Precient 4. The ex Constable of Pct 3 Roger Terry is now at Pct 4 with his son who works Traffic Patrol there. Most of the bailiffs from Pct 2 are now at Pct 4.
210orejonessa

Bandera, TX

#19 Jan 14, 2009
Jim, you will have to forgive tyler durdin. He had some sort of bad homo experience in a restroom, and now goes around blaming everyone for it. He would not know a good police department or any good cops if they him on the head. Guy is totally a racist. make up your own mind by talking to people in that organization, not someone talking crap on every blog as a poser. Mexican people are proud people, and this guy really set us off. guy is wack.
THE CHAD

San Antonio, TX

#20 Jan 14, 2009
210orejonessa wrote:
Jim, you will have to forgive tyler durdin. He had some sort of bad homo experience in a restroom, and now goes around blaming everyone for it. He would not know a good police department or any good cops if they him on the head. Guy is totally a racist. make up your own mind by talking to people in that organization, not someone talking crap on every blog as a poser. Mexican people are proud people, and this guy really set us off. guy is wack.
I think Tyler calls it like he sees it. Just because you have had a bad experience in the bathroom because some squirrel counter did'nt do his job, well don't blame the whole world over it. Thats why I agree with Tyler about how worthless the Park Rangers are. I also read that someone is useing his blog name to be racial, I know by reading his entries, he has no prejudice to cultures, just has a dislike for inferior wantabe cops.

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