Written By: Placer County Sheriff's Office
Modern day sheriffs still continue in the honorable traditions of the past. California obtained statehood in 1850 and thus began the customs that continue today with modern-day California sheriffs. The California Constitution established the Office of the Sheriff - and the Office of the District Attorney - as Constitutional officers. It is the elected sheriff who is the chief law enforcement officer of each county in California. . The sheriff however, does much more than the general law enforcement duties our residents and visitors see every day. The Office of the Sheriff is twofold; they are officers of the county, but also officers of the courts. In addition to patrol services and keeping the peace, the sheriff is responsible for carrying out the orders and processes of the state’s courts; security of the courthouses, judges, staff, and visitors; care and custody of inmates in the county jails; Search & Rescue operations anywhere in the county; apprehending people charged with a crime; and mutual aid coordination.
If a local police department is overwhelmed by a critical incident in their city, they call the sheriff’s office for help. If the sheriff doesn’t have the resources to manage the incident, the Sheriff’s Office is responsible for coordinating mutual aid requests to surrounding agencies. This has been very apparent when agencies from around the region respond to help with several of Northern California’s recent and devastating fires.
The sheriff serves not only the residents of the unincorporated areas of the county, but also every resident of the incorporated cities in the county as well. He or she is elected by every resident in the county and serves at the pleasure of the voters, not a politician or bureaucrat.
In Part 3, we’ll discuss the differences in the role of the sheriff, your local police, and the highway patrol and how they work together.
--This article is posted with the permission of the Placer County Sheriff's Office and is intended to be educational in nature. Willspatches.net is not responsible for any errors, omissions, or opinions reflected herein.