Sheriffs have been rising to a national stage from the stage of local crimes in recent years. But do we know all there is to know about the power of a sheriff? We doubt that. The role of sheriffs goes back to much earlier times. They were appointed by the Crown to oversee the laws. Since then they have been on a rise and it is time to find out about all the power that a sheriff of the United States of America has.
Who Is A Sheriff?
As mentioned earlier, sheriffs were appointed by the Crown to oversee the laws. These laws were bound within a shire or a county. Their duties included tax collection and also running a local yeomanry. This local yeomanry was also given the name ‘posse comitatus’, meaning a local citizen who would stand out as the enforcement of the law.
Sheriffs play a crucial role in the Southern States of America. They are the chief law enforcement officers in those states. If you are wondering what happens in the Northeast states, we have your answer too. While sheriffs look after the Southern states, the Northern states place their trust on constables who are more like the police chief over there. With America’s westward expansion, new states came into existence. These new states accepted sheriffs as their enforcement of the law system.
Sheriffs do not have many checks on their power, unlike police chiefs who report to the mayor or other elected officials. In the present day, their duties include investing crimes, overseeing the local jails, and transporting prisoners.
While many states have gladly accepted the local sheriffs, there are a few states who are yet to rely on them. Alaska, Hawaii, and Connecticut fall among those few and still follow the statewide law enforcement agencies.
The Sheriff’s Potential Power Of Abuse
The position of a sheriff can be easily abused. Although many sheriffs serve multiple important functions in a community, long tenures might lead them to run the place by their own rules. Events of abuse by a sheriff have been reported in 2017. The students of Worth County High School had to get their underwear checked for the presence of any drugs. Although the sheriff was immediately removed, it did draw a line on people’s minds.
Sheriffs Have The Power Of Running The Jails
The law enforcement officers have been known to enrich themselves in the running of jails. They have the complete discretion to use the state money to feed the prisoners. While some sheriffs keep themselves in check and abide by the law, many of them are known to commit a crime in the process.
Events have been recorded when the sheriffs have fed poor and cheap meals to the prisoners. They pocketed the rest of the money and paid for their personal expenses like buying a beach house!
There have been many other reported incidents when sheriffs have been said to abuse their powers. They have even been found to discriminate against people and enforce biased laws on people of color. But not all of them are evil. There are many good people in this position who want to improve the present state. It is them we should help and bring forward to achieve a better, proper future.
Power abuse is filthy and at the same time lucrative. But it is a real human who uses the power properly and does good to the nation.