A sheriff is a local law enforcement official who investigates crimes, provides security, apprehends criminals, and often operates the local jail or detention facility. Sheriffs maintain inmate records and jail records, as well as information about arrests and warrants. Most counties in the U.S. have a sheriff's office or sheriff's department as their primary law enforcement or police organization. Sheriffs are dedicated to maintaining law and order by enforcing the rules and regulations in their jurisdictions. Unlike local police officers, sheriffs are often elected to their positions.
Only one or two people may run a local sheriff's office and call themselves "sheriff," but in large communities, there may be thousands of law enforcement agents and employees and members of a "sheriff's office" or department. Some communities task the sheriff's office with more than just keeping the peace, while other communities use the sheriff's office as the coroner's office.
There is only one type of sheriff; an elected official is in charge of maintaining law and order in a designated community. While the roles of sheriffs vary from state to state, they perform many of the same duties. They provide law enforcement, run the local county jail and deliver court documents. They also usually have deputies and other employees that they manage during their tenure as sheriff.
The duties of a sheriff can vary. There are three different types of duties: restricted, limited and full. Most sheriffs provide full-service duties ranging from law enforcement to helping with court documents. Limited duty includes patrol services and some security work. Restricted duty usually means that the sheriff's office only collaborates with the courts and with some marshaling duties.