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  • Power of the Sheriff?

    While dancing with my Babe Prosecuting Attorney, I told her that the Sheriff is the top law enforcement OFFICER in his County. My Sheriff friend, says they are above the Feds, and State Police in their County.

    Are we right? How can I prove it to her, if I am right.

    Thanks

  • #2
    Above other cops in what way? He can't get a federal wiretap unless he gets sworn as a federal officer. On the other hand if he were in CA he'd be able to grant a concealed weapons permit to anybody who lives in his county.

    To get the answer you want you have to read they Michigan government or civil code sections that dictate what a Sheriff's duties are.

    Most local cops technically have more power than any fed because federal agencies tend to be limited in what they are allowed to investigate. Most of us locals can investigate any crime we want.
    If you see me running try to keep up!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Gun Nut:
      While dancing with my Babe Prosecuting Attorney, I told her that the Sheriff is the top law enforcement OFFICER in his County. My Sheriff friend, says they are above the Feds, and State Police in their County.

      Are we right? How can I prove it to her, if I am right.

      Thanks
      That's what I heard. Haven't bothered to factually find out though. I have read reports of some sheriffs ordering the feds out, however.

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      • #4
        I'm just a lowly recruit working my way through the academy, but I believe one of our instructors told us that the CORONER is actually the top law enforcement officer in a county. He's the only one with the authority to arrest the Sheriff. In Wisconsin, that is.
        Caution and worry never accomplished anything.

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        • #5
          It seems to vary from state to state. I remember being told in the academy(FL) that the sheriff/deputies(take your pick) were the only LEOs in FL that could arrest the Governor.
          "When you guys get home and face an anti-war protester, look him in the eyes and shake his hand. Then, wink at his girlfriend, because she knows she's dating a *****."
          -Commanding General, 1st Marine Division

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          • #6
            In Missouri, the top law enforcer is the Prosecuting Attorney.

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            • #7
              The answer lays somewhere in the US Government Code. It basically outlines the authority of a sheriff. It says something about "keeping the peace" "provide general law enforcement" "authority to raise a posse." In California some sheriffs are the coroner as well.

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              • #8
                Thanks for the good answers. I am asking about the top law enforcement officer, not official, which would be the Prosecutor.

                There was a case in th U.P. of Michigan where a 70 year old couple (the Delenes) dug lakes on their property without the permits to do so. I don't remember if it was Federal, or State swat types, that were going to do a Waco raid on these poor people. When the Sheriff found out, he intervened, and stopped the raid.

                There also is a Sheriff in a western state that won't let the feds do anything, in his County, without his permission. That's what I mean by more power.

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                • #9
                  Well, the Sheriff may have intervened to stop the raid by talking common sense to the war party or spoke to someone he knew in high places. Regarding the Sheriff who says the feds can't do anything in his county - guess what - he's wrong. He has no legal authority to stop federal law enforcement officers performing their duties. More likely what was meant was that his office will not cooperate with federal officers.
                  Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

                  I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

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                  • #10
                    In many states the Coroner is automatically appointed if the Sheriff is removed or dies. In Illinois the Sheriff can be arrested by any law enforcement officer. Even the deputies under the Sheriff if they have enough brass to do it. Pay back is a bitch.

                    In most States the Sheriff is elected and is the highest law enforcement official in that county. That does not mean he can pull rank so-to-speak on other Chiefs of the state police. Just like the FBI doesn't have jurisdiction over anyone else. That is TV garbage.
                    "The view only changes for the lead dog." ~ Sergeant Preston of The Yukon ~

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                    • #11
                      Isn't it true that Feds have the authority to investigate and arrest corrupt Sheriffs?
                      JB
                      Romans 13:1-5

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                      • #12
                        Any peace officer has the authority to investigate any crime of which he becomes aware. That peace officer has the authority to arrest the suspect, regardless of who he may be. There is no law that states certain people are exempt from arrest, with the exception of dipolmatic immunity.

                        When the FBI investigates police agencies, it is generally for civil rights violations. Corruption, such as bribes, may also be in violation of some federal statutes, but are generally investigated and prosecuted by some arm of the state government.
                        Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

                        I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

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                        • #13
                          In NY, the feds are only considered peace officers ( as opposed to peace officers ) under NYS Criminal Procedure Law.

                          The Sheriff is the highest law enforcement official in the county.

                          The District Attorney can only be arrested on a warrant issued by the governor.

                          Coroners are just that, and nothing more.
                          ( most of them are MD's or Morticians )

                          The feds can investigate anything delegated to them under United States Code, with or without the permission of anyone else.
                          Each branch is limited in what they do investigate.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Gun Nut:
                            While dancing with my Babe Prosecuting Attorney, I told her that the Sheriff is the top law enforcement OFFICER in his County. My Sheriff friend, says they are above the Feds, and State Police in their County.

                            Are we right? How can I prove it to her, if I am right.

                            Thanks

                            This is an "apples and oranges" discussion. No type of police officer is above any other type of police officer. They each have their own jurisdictions.

                            The sheriff is considered the highest ranking law enforcement officer in his county, but that doesn't mean he can order other officers around. What it means is that he (or she) has law enforcement jurisdiction everywhere in the county, as opposed to local officers whose areas of jurisdiction are usually specific geographic sections of the county.

                            For example, my jurisdiction is patrolled by two departments...the sheriff's department and mine. Neither one of us is "above" the other. The major difference between being arrested by a sheriff's deputy here or by me or one of my officers is that the deputies can only charge someone under state laws while we can charge under state laws or local ordinances. The deputies and our officers back each other up all the time, and the deputies will actually bow to us on calls in our jurisdiction if we ask them to do so. We have a good working relationship with our sheriff's department.
                            Dave
                            Former Deputy Marshal
                            Ohio

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                            • #15
                              Guard Dog hit it right on the head about the Coroner. Here in Georgia if something happens to the Sheriff, the Coroner would take over his duties. At least that's the way it was when I was in college.
                              This post has been rated PG-13 for your viewing pleasure.

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