Difference Between Sheriff and Police Officer

There are many law enforcement agencies that work at a civilian level and make our lives easier and safer every day. Police is an important part of the law enforcement agencies and maintains peace with in the cities as well as places outside the city lines.

There are different levels at which the police operates. It has the police officers, the detectives and senior official. Generally a Sheriff has a certain level of involvement in the affairs of the police as well. Often the Sheriff and the police are thought to be one and the same but there are certain differences between the two.

A police officer is someone who is a part of the police and has come through a selection process and is trained to be a part of the force. A Sheriff is an elected official who deals with several matters in the area including working in coordination with the police. The Sheriff is also trained to handle potentially volatile situations.

The jurisdiction in which the police officers can operate is generally within the limits of the city or the town. Outside their limits, it is the problem of the police department of that area. On the other, a Sheriff overseas the affairs of the whole county or in cases the state. They have jurisdiction over a much larger area in comparison.


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    Police Officers

    These are trained professionals in maintaining law and order and know how to use weapons. They also have the license to stop crime within their area of jurisdiction.

    In order to become a cop, there are many requirements including a clean criminal record, passing of written exams and being physically able enough.

    They have to work within the limits of their police department and cannot be involved in work outside their limits. Police officers are present all over the world.

    Image Courtesy: scrapetv.com

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    Sheriffs are elected officials in most states of the US. They were first around in the 1600s. They are trained in law enforcement and are also involved in the affairs of the state or the county in which they perform their duties.

    Generally the Sheriff does not indulge in direct police work and leaves it to the local police department but can do so whenever he or she deems it to be fit.

    The Sheriff has a wide range of area under him or her and can also work as a coroner’s office in case of need. Often Sheriffs have had some prior law enforcement experiences as well.

    Image Courtesy: michigansheriff.com

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