What should a sheriff be?

Prompted by this recent article that I read in the N&O about Sheriff's office I decided to see what all of you think about the responsibilities of a sheriff are.

The first question that seems to be posed by the article is whether or not a sheriff should be a law enforcement officer. Most states, if not all, have the requirement that the Attorney General be a lawyer. So, should there be a similar requirement for sheriff?

I think the bigger question that the article doesnt really address, but needs to be answered, is, what exactly is the job of a sheriff? Are they a police chief (a general on a smaller scale)? Or are they an administrator much closer to a mayor in terms of duties? Or is there some combination of these two?

The Sheriff of every county in this state is responsible for setting and spending their departments budget. But, they are also responsible from fully enforcing the laws, and as was pointed out in another article, they are often responsible for finding new and innovative ways to address law enforcement issues.

So, what do you think? Should a Sheriff be elected? Is the system fine? Should we have stricter qualifications? Should it be a nonpartisan position? Or, can we trust the public to continue weeding out the unqualified?

Comments

Bigger job than Mayor

The Sheriff is responsible for running things like the jail and security for the courthouse. In Durham, that means thousands of court cases and warrants, hundreds of prisoners, and hundreds of employees.

I am not sure electing the Sheriff still makes sense. It is a combination of professional law enforcement and administrator, much like a police chief.

in general

I agree that it doesnt seem like something that should be elected. But I love that they are at least theoretically accountable to the public.

HelpLarry.com

"Keep the Faith"

In an unincorporated area

like the place I live, the sheriff's department is the only law enforcement there is. Although I personally like our sheriff, I don't like that he is subject to the political process, and thus beholden to voters. If I'm not mistaken, it's not even a "non-partisan" race, is it?

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Ghandi

nope

It is most definetly partisan.

HelpLarry.com

"Keep the Faith"