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  • city/county LEO

    What is the main difference between city and county police for instance DC Metro and Prince George's County Charles County Baltimore.mainly the difference between County and City if there is one.

  • #2
    Where I live in Southern California, the **main** difference is that the city cops patrol areas within their own city. The sheriffs dept patrols the "unincorparated" areas. The sheriffs areas tend to include more "rural" areas and the "beats or service areas" tend to be much larger in the rural areas.

    Aside for the unincorporated areas, the sheriffs dept also is responsible for maintaining the county jail system.

    The pay is generaly comparable but the city guys seem to do a lil better. All the sheriffs dept's down here tend to have a REPUTATION of taking less crap from people than us city cops do. Where I work, we constantly deal with folks who come down to the beach from the hotter inland areas patrolled by the sheriffs. I get told 5-10 times a week how we "are much cooler" that the deputies.


    • #3
      In Maryland, each county has a sheriffs department and some also have police departments. In those that have both the police are the main enforcement agency and the sheriff handles civil and the Circuit Court.

      Baltimore City is seperate from any county and has it's own police and sheriff. As in the counties the police are the primary enforcement agency and the sheriff handles the Circuit Court and civil. In addition to the the City Police, Baltimore also has seperate departments for the public school system and the Housing Authority.(public housing)

      Baltimore County which surronds Baltimore City on three sides has it's own police and sheriff and they do not have authority in Baltimore City. The police there are the primary enforcement agency.

      Carroll County which has a sheriff's department that is very small has given primary enforcement in many areas to the Maryland State Police.

      In counties such as Charles and Prince Georges there is a primary county agency responsible for law enforcement. In Prince Georges it is the County Police and in Charles it is the Sheriff's Department. Each also has municipalities with their own departments. In the municipalities the municipal police are the primary agency. The Police or Sheriff handle mainly the unincorperated areas and assist the municipal agencies. The State Police generally will handle the interstates then and back up the local agency.

      There are also some other state agencies such as the Mass Transit Administration Police and the Transportation Authority Police that are in several jurisdictions. The Mass Transit Administration handles all incidents on public transportation (buses,trains, stations and bus stops) as well as all accidents involving transit vehicles. The Transportation Authority handles all of the toll interstates as well as the Port of Baltimore and Baltimore Washington International Airport.


      • #4
        In many parts of the country, the Sheriff is technically the chief LEO of the county. The Sheriff and his/her deputies have powers in the entire juristiction, by the city PD covers the urban areas. The county handles the jail and courts as well.

        I can actually act anywhere in the my state, since in TN the sheriff is a consitutional office.

        In reality, we tend to stay in our own county, and leave the city stuff to city cops. They generally have a bigger budget, more guys on a shift, and less real estate to manage.

        The rule svary from state to state, and local agreements can adjust the way things reallu work.

        LEO and Smoke Eater
        Former Marine


        • #5
          Biggest difference I've noticed in 22 years is that, as a deputy, I got screwed by county commissioners. As a city copy, I got directly screwed by city commissioners and indirectly screwed by commissioners in the county I lived in.

          Naw, big difference is they're ain't that much difference

          "Remember. It's only a movie." Alfred Hitchcock.


          • #6
            Ditto what SemperFi said...
            Pretty much the same way in Arkansas...

            The sheriffs dept. is located in a city of about 25,000. This city has it's own police officers and the dept.and is only a couple of miles away. Although we CAN do whatever we want ...we generally dont mess with the city stuff unless it's a felony that we SEE. Otherwise, we do back each other up on occasion. The Police Chief is appointed by the mayor. The sheriff is an elected official.

            Generally, we are thought to be "cooler" than the city cops.We often get calls from city folks that dont want to deal with city cops. The city boys only act in the city. WE can act anywhere and have much more turf to cover with a lot less officers. The city Cops get paid a lot better. We "do" alot more. I beleive the sheriffs deputys get alot more respect than the city boys.


            • #7
              I retired fom a large Sheriff's Department. The only difference between us and the large city department was we had the additional responsibility of staffing the County jail and staffing the courts. We provided LE services for the unincorporated areas of the county plus LE sevices for 42 incorporated cities.

              The pay was always just about the same. We worked very close, particularly with detective functions.



              • #8
                I'll jump in with my perspective - the RCMP is Canada's Federal Police Service, performing duties similar to the FBI, DEA, ATF, Secret Service combined. Our jurisdiction is from coast, to coast, to coast, to the US borders.
                We also are the Provincial Police Services in the 3 Territories and in all Provinces except Ontario and Quebec (where they have the Ontario Provincial Police and Surete Quebec). This is a contracted service between the Provinces and the Federal Government.
                As well, many towns and cities have a contract with the Province and Federal Government for the RCMP to provide Municipal Police Services.
                Saskatchewan is a geographically large Province with a small population. There are several City Police Services, like here in Weyburn, and in such areas the only laws that I cannot enforce are Municipal By-laws (noise, dogs, parking). However, the City Police Service members are empowered, under the Provincial Police Act, as Peace Officers throughout the Province (and this is similar in other Provinces, I think) so they can go anywhere in Saskatchewan to do their job, except to enforce local by-laws (since they are not the local Police Service outside of their own city).
                In Weyburn, members of my Detachment and the City Police get along well and help each other, and if its serious, and we are not busy, we each like to get in on the action the other Agency is in on, but for routine stuff, each sluffs off the calls to the other if its in the other's area!

                P. D. (Pete) Broccolo, Constable
                #32936 - RCMP Weyburn, Saskatchewan


                • #9
                  In Ohio, we basically hace three levels of LE. We do NOT have state police here.

                  At the state level, we have the Ohio Highway Patrol (OSP). OSP's jurisdiction includes all state property, all state routes/roads and all Interstate highways. (There are also numerous other state LEA's such as Department of Natural Resources, Liquor Control, etc.)

                  Next, at the county level, is each of 88 counties Sheriff's Office (an elected position.) The Sheriff's Office is generally responsible for patrolling any unicorporated areas within its county and in most cases running the county jail. In some counties that have no unincorporated areas, such as Cuyahoga County (Cleveland and its suburbs), the Sheriff's Office has no need for a patrol function and generally staffs the county jail and serves warrants. (Also, in Ohio, the top LEO in each county is the Coroner, NOT the Sheriff.)

                  Finally, at the city level, are indivigual municipal police departments. Each municipal police department has jurisdiction only within its corporate limits, and generally are responsible for all police functions within that jurisdiction (patrol, traffic, investigations, etc.)

                  Generally speaking, City cops make more than County Deputies in Ohio, especially around large metro areas such as Cleveland, columbus or Cincy.

                  Take Care and STAY SAFE!!!


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