Sheriff Job Profile

A sheriff’s job is to enforce law and order at the county level, patrol, guard grand jury, court etc, serve civil processes, and to operate a jail for the county. He helps prevent crime in the local county sometimes by mobilizing the public support in community policing. Whether on duty or off duty, he is expected to be armed and he is to enforce order and peace through their authority. Usually sheriffs are elected to their post in the county where they are seeking employment.

Job Details: A sheriff will escort detainees or prisoners to courtrooms, jails or medical facilities; locate crime perpetrators and take them into custody; execute warrants for arrests; probe into suspicious or illegal activities; be in charge of accident scenes, assist victims and investigate how it happened; effect seizure of property as per court injunction. He has to keep meticulous records and write up-to-date reports.

Education Requirements: To become a sheriff, a 2-year college degree is now preferred. Formerly a high school education followed with certificate courses along with training in law enforcement connected subjects was sufficient. In fact, today many universities through colleges and junior colleges are offering programs in justice administration and law enforcement. Mostly people with prior military experience or any training either at the police academy or regional or state academy stand a better chance of getting selected.

Other Requirements: To become a sheriff, you must be 20 years of age and a U.S. citizen; preferably successfully completed rigorous physical training and other agility and competitive tests. You are to learn how to use and care for firearms, do first aid, patrol, emergency response and self defense. You must have correctable 20/20 vision and no color blindness; no handicaps and your reading & writing score must be 70% or higher. Also most essentially, you should not have a criminal record with conviction for felony; again a bad debt credit history will reduce your chances of recruitment. And you should show willingness to work sincerely and wholeheartedly cutting across time and location.

Skill and Knowledge: A sheriff should be familiar with court procedures, government regulations, legal codes and executive orders; knowledge of human behavior psychology and inductive reasoning. He should be a good listener; have judgment to weigh quickly the merits and demerits of any decision he takes; have presence of mind and exceptionally quick reaction time.

Job Environment: A sheriff’s job can be dangerous confronting criminals and sometimes temporarily/permanently deranged persons; quite stressful working odd times, night times, always on the alert and ready to draw arms; personal life gets affected due to not having routine hours; should witness death, suffering, blood and pain repeatedly. It is a challenging job.

Job Outlook: There is an increased demand for willing and upright youngsters to take up jobs as sheriffs and other police officers. They have at the lower level starting around approximately $27,000 and can peak at earning more than $72,000.

A sheriff upholds law, protects the innocent and keeps peace and is a respected person in the community.