Deputy Sheriff vs. Police Officer?

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Thread: Deputy Sheriff vs. Police Officer?

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array C9H13NO3's Avatar
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    Deputy Sheriff vs. Police Officer?

    My reenlistment plans fell through...there was no CRS to reenlist me, and by the time he got here, boatspaces were full. So it looks like I'm getting out and going back to my original plan of law enforcement.

    I've been doing a lot of research on departments in WA. I've looked around and haven't really found an answer to one of my questions though. I know a Sheriff's department and police department are different because of jurisdiction (county vs. city). I know the SD is in charge of the county jails and whatnot. But on a daily basis, do deputies and police officers do pretty much the same thing as far as duties and the work day? I've done ride alongs with city police, but never a deputy or sheriff. Any input?
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    From my experience, the sheriff's biggest responsibility is the jail/court system, so the majority of officers work in one of those divisions. Police departments biggest responsibility is patroling the streets, so the majority of officers work patrol. Deputies that do patrol, will have the same duties as city police officers. Deputies have jurisdiction anywhere in the county, including inside the city limits. City police officer's jurisdiction ends at the city limit. The sheriff's department is a higher level of government, than the city police(county vs. municipal).
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    I am not a police officer, although I have been with both departments on ride alongs and I feel they are basically the same. The main difference that I noticed here is the SD mostly works smaller towns and county roads, while the local PD works all in the city. If there is what they refer to as a "corner call" usually both departments will respond because its on the verge on the city limits. There are also instances where something will happen inside the city limits, although the property the incident is on is controlled by the county which means the SD is responsible.

    The other main difference here is that with the SD your closest backup might be 20-30 minutes away, versus with the PD it's 2-3 minutes max. Some have a preference, some don't. I personally like being involved with a team atmosphere with less chance of being outnumbered in a bad situation.

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    That depends entirely on where you are at.
    In Arkansas, all certified LEO's have LEO authority statewide.
    The city's PD's stick pretty much to the city. The Deputy's stick pretty much to the county, but still serve warrants in the city. Generally the city's PD's don't serve warrants.

    A Deputy can stop anyone anywhere for any reason,even in the city. Generally most don't, because it would be a duplication of effort. Here.. some of the smaller townships that cant afford a PD, are patrolled by Deputy's. There are several towns that have a 1 man PD. If they need backup, its the Sheriffs that will be there. The Sheriff has the county jail, and provides the courts with Bailiffs. They transport prisoners all over the state, and sometime throughout the country.

    Really, you need to research the area that you want to be in, because they are all different, even within the state.
    I can talk to most deputy's in surrounding county's on the radio, but I cant even talk to the city PD because they are on a different frequency. How much sense does that make?
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    If you are interested in LE...and you like ...FHP (Florida Highway Patrol) is LOOKING for individuals who want a LE career.
    State Trooper are another tangent...city LE...county LE, and state LE.
    Others with those experiences might chime in...

    Good luck in your search, and thanks for serving.
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    Perhaps it's not the case everywhere, but in my county all new deputies start in the jail. It is a promotion to work the road. Just some you might want to inquire about if it matters to you.
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    Have you thought about being an Air Marshall or working the US Marshall's office ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cupcake View Post
    Perhaps it's not the case everywhere, but in my county all new deputies start in the jail. It is a promotion to work the road. Just some you might want to inquire about if it matters to you.
    It's the same in El Paso County (Colorado Springs). In Tampa, I was in the S.O. and we had county-wide jurisdiction versus being limited to the city. It seemed at the time that TPD was much busier than we were in the County. Most deputies started on the road - corrections were hired for corrections.
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    Here's an outsider's look from the country point of view. If I were in law enforcement in my neck of the woods, I'd rather be a deputy sheriff. I think the jurisdiction alone would be worth it. You want to know the truth? I also think the county cops are more cool than the city cops....and most of them know and relate to their territory, and out in the country, things get more personal in a way. If I were to explain that, it would take another whole post. Anyway.........our county cops here drive better vehicles in my opinion....Durangos and four wheel drives. A sheriff's deputy car on the highway or in the city somehow demands more respect from me than a city cruiser for some reason (and I do respect them all). I figure the county boys to be more hardy or 'countryfied' and able to take care of things on their own since they seldom have close backup. I've had far better results with county sheriffs and state highway patrol than city or municipality officers...when talking with them at leisure, or on business. Power is one thing, respect is another. I've seen things escalate in the city even with a show of force....but out in the county there's more of a mutual respect and somehow a family ordeal. County cops work with folks from what I know...and they are way more friendly and try to work things out before things get bad. We've seen some shootouts and manhunts in the backwoods, but most of them come to an end instead of an ongoing investigation relying on witnesses and evidence. Closure in the county seems to be abrupt around here compared to posters in the Quiky Mart for the city slickers or the plea for information on the local news. Country folks take care of their own one way or another...and it is a two way street when you live out of town. I guess city cops can be cool as well, but in most cases, I think they are overbearing, more apprehensive, less personal, and less forgiving simply for the fact of knowing the strength of their forces and that back-up is close by. If there was any chance I'd ever fit into law enforcement (and humanity) more than I do, I'd definitely want to be one of the few...the proud....county sheriff's officers. My intentions were not to belittle city officers in any way, just portraying my experiences and observations. I hope this has helped you in some way. Personally, I think you're cool no matter what you choose.

  11. #10
    Distinguished Member Array XD 45's Avatar
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    I would go SO cause of jurisdiction
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  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotGuns View Post
    That depends entirely on where you are at.
    This sums the answer up nicely.
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    Distinguished Member Array Agave's Avatar
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    Here, new deputies serve in the jail for at least a year and officers don't do jail duty and get paid more.
    Last edited by HotGuns; December 20th, 2008 at 08:51 PM. Reason: corrected spelling so that post made sense
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  14. #13
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    In my area - risks for both are same. PD in my city has quick response for back up if needed - SO's usually have no back up or have to wait a long while before back up can get there.
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    Distinguished Member Array Paymeister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ram Rod View Post
    ... I also think the county cops are more cool than the city cops....and most of them know and relate to their territory, and out in the country, things get more personal in a way. ...
    In our county, starting deputies are paid less than the kids working the phones at the call center, so check pay rates first.

    That said, I've NEVER seen such good police work as I've seen here: we had a deputy visit us shortly after we moved here from the big city. He said, "I notice you have a number of friends moving in... you might pass the word that they have 30 days to get Virginia tags on their cars." I responded, "Gosh, I know someone right off the top of my head that could use to hear that - I'll be sure to tell him!" And I got my VA tags in two days. No muss, no fuss, no Federal case: he made his point, and got the job done. I had a lot of respect for him: however, a few years later he went to work for the city PD nearby and was dragged out of his patrol car and shot and killed with his own gun. That may bear on your decision as well.

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    VIP Member Array raevan's Avatar
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    Don't know if you have checked with Snohomish county. Here is a link.
    Snohomish County Sheriff's Office

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