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  1. #1
    Forum Member breezy062's Avatar
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    Police Officer vs. Sheriff's Deputy vs. Deputy Constable & equal respect between them

    I have a question that I am unable to find here on the boards already. Probably because it may be a dumb question, but I’d like to know your opinions.

    Many states, cities, towns, etc. have different LE agencies. For example Washington, DC doesn’t have a Sheriff nor Deputies. Many states don’t have Constables.

    My question is, when on travel or in an area outside your own, does the title Sheriff’s Deputy (or Constable) receive the same “respect” as the title “Police Officer”? I know that in most areas the titles do pretty much the same work.

    But an area, that doesn’t have Sheriff's Deputies (Constables, etc.) or their Sheriff’s Deputies do predominantly a jail/courthouse function, would the title (Deputy/Constable), from another area, be respected by the local Police as equal LEO?

    Now, I understand that if an area doesn’t have Sheriffs or Constables the local “Police Officer” may not understand the role of a Sheriff or Constable Deputy and may make the mistake of seeing the title as something less than a full and equal LEO.

    And, this question extends onto Police to Police respect, where State, County, and City “Police Officers” having equal respect for a Community College or Hospital Police Officer.

    I travel a WHOLE lot (like 3 weeks a month). And I over heard a conversation between two guys on this topic that made me feel very uneasy. Based on the conversation I’d feel confident in venturing that at least 1 if not both were LEO’s.

    I would hate to think that if I were a Deputy Constable on travel to an area that doesn’t have Constables, that I would be treated, especially in terms of LEOSA/HR218, without respect and my badge not honored (at least without a lot of rig-a-ma-row) .
    Last edited by breezy062; 03-31-2009 at 10:30 PM. Reason: spelling error
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  2. #2
    Macho Man
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    I'll try and answer your question it's kinda confusing though.

    Sheriff/Deputy = Most everwhere in the county

    Police/Officer = Most everywhere in the city

    I'm not familiar with constable sorry.

  3. #3
    Forum Member breezy062's Avatar
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    I apologize, for the confusion…I can definitely be loquacious at times.

    I am pretty familiar with the jobs and primary duties of the Police vs. Sheriffs vs. Constables (Texas has all 3). Bottom line is, do Police Officers (that don’t have Sheriff or Constables in their area) respect Sheriff’s and Constable Deputies as equal LEO’s?

    Or is there a “Andy Griffin/Mayberry” prejudice for the titles Deputy & Constable or Community College & Hospital Officer? In your own opinion…
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  4. #4
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    We dont have constables here, but police officers and deputy sheriffs preform basically the same functions. The difference is the areas that they serve. Police officers are responsible for the incorporated areas of a county, while the sheriffs department is responsible for the county overall. Because the incorporated areas for the most part have city cops, the deputies tend to be in primarily rural areas. There's certainly exceptions to that, and it is not uncommon to see a sheriffs deputy on a traffic stop in the city, etc. There are also plenty of unincorporated areas nearby that are adjacent to and basically part of a city, but the sheriff patrols these areas.

    I doubt that most non-LEOs even know or notice the difference between agencies.

    And I doubt (can't say for sure I'm not LEO) that the city cops and sheriffs deputies see each other as anything but equals.
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  5. #5
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    I give them all the same respect. If they wear a badge, they're my brothers.
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  6. #6
    Mitch...inappropriate!
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    Quote Originally Posted by switcher View Post
    Some large east coast areas (such as New York City) don't have deputy sheriffs as we know them here in California, Texas, and what not. Their deputy sheriffs mainly do evictions (not even court security...that's another department). So I definitely can see some confusion/lack of respect.
    I was going to say the same thing. In my state, Deputies and Constables are agents of the court and typically perform warrant service and prisoner transport. I don't believe my state recognizes them on the same level as LEOs and they are not covered under HR218, which is sad. That being said, since street patrol in my state is covered by either local police, county police, or state police, I think there are some officers who would not understand that Deputies and Constables in other states perform full LE functions. Therefore, you may have some less worldly officers who may not not give them the full respect they deserve, but I definitely don't think that would be the norm.
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  7. #7
    Forum Member rgv_cop's Avatar
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    Sheriffs= mainly unincorporated parts of county and even a city at times
    Police=within city limits
    Constables=whereever they want to go, but mainly in their pct
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  8. #8
    Planes suck! ChopperCopper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taylor13 View Post
    I'll try and answer your question it's kinda confusing though.

    Sheriff/Deputy = Most everwhere in the county
    In Florida, it is everywhere in the county. But, if a city has it's own police, then the Sheriff generally only responds when requested.
    Police/Officer = Most everywhere in the city

    I'm not familiar with constable sorry.
    In Florida, every sheriff's office is a full service agency. That means the S.O. performs the same function as a municipal agency, as well as additional duties mandated by the state constitution. The Sheriff derives their power from the state constitution, whereas a police chief derives his/her power from a city charter.

    The Sheriff is the top law enforcement officer in the county in our state. We don't have "county police" here.
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  9. #9
    Forum Member Marine_Infantry's Avatar
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    It all varies from state to state and agency to agency.Depending on the state,the Sheriff's Department is a large full service agency (i.e. California,Nevada,Florida,Texas,etc.)and well respected.In some states, the Sheriff's Department is relegated to running the county jail and is not terribly respected (Massachusetts).Some states don't even have Sheriff's.
    The same can be said for State Police/Highway Patrol.In the eastern states like Massachusetts,Rhode Island,New Jersey etc., "state police" are highly respected full service agencies that patrol state properties,provide mutual aid to smaller agencies,patrol rural areas,and conduct major investigations.In other states,especially in the south and west "highway patrol" are generally limited to just that ,although some states also have a "state bureau of investigation".

  10. #10
    PoPo w/ The MoMo
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChopperCopper View Post
    In Florida, every sheriff's office is a full service agency. That means the S.O. performs the same function as a municipal agency, as well as additional duties mandated by the state constitution. The Sheriff derives their power from the state constitution, whereas a police chief derives his/her power from a city charter.

    The Sheriff is the top law enforcement officer in the county in our state. We don't have "county police" here.
    This illustrates the fact that there seems to be a regional difference with respect to which agencies are the premier LE agency in a given jurisdiction w/ overlapping responsibilities. In FL, the Sheriff's run everything - they are usually large and they usually have more resources than the local PD's to handle difficult/complex cases that require criminal investigative work.

    In Illinois (for example), that is generally not the case. The local pd's generally run things in the corporate city limits while the sheriff's agencies are usually smaller and handle the unincorporated/rural areas.

  11. #11
    Forum Member DeputySC's Avatar
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    We have all 3. Sheriff Deputies, Police Officers, and Constables go through the exact same academy and have the exact same powers except constables get state wide jurisdiction. City/Town police only work in the areas of the County they annexed. Sheriff's Deputies can take calls anywhere in the County including areas annexed by the City or Town.


    Now Constables are Police Officers certified by the state, thus it gives them state wide jurisdiction. Usually College police have this title. Sheriff's Deputies and Police officers can become constables to make cases/arrests outside their jurisdiction but the department has to go through some process to get this done, I am not sure exactly what they have to do.

  12. #12
    Forum Member Magic Matt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputySC View Post
    We have all 3. Sheriff Deputies, Police Officers, and Constables go through the exact same academy and have the exact same powers except constables get state wide jurisdiction. City/Town police only work in the areas of the County they annexed. Sheriff's Deputies can take calls anywhere in the County including areas annexed by the City or Town.


    Now Constables are Police Officers certified by the state, thus it gives them state wide jurisdiction. Usually College police have this title. Sheriff's Deputies and Police officers can become constables to make cases/arrests outside their jurisdiction but the department has to go through some process to get this done, I am not sure exactly what they have to do.
    Actually, not quite, in South Carolina, Constables are an auxiliary police function, they do not have full C-1 Certification, and they do not attend the SCJCA as do all other police in SC, they take the Basic Constable Training course at a technical college.They operate under supervision of the chief of the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division (SLED), under Executive Orders 90-08 and 99-18, South Carolina State Constable is not a stand-alone law enforcement department. It is the purpose of the Constable to assist and augment local law enforcement agency personnel efforts.
    Last edited by Magic Matt; 04-01-2009 at 11:00 PM.

  13. #13
    Forum Member Magic Matt's Avatar
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    To answer your question; yes we know who’s who and respect each other for the most part. The Credentials of any sworn law enforcement officer will state that they have “arrest authority” and that says it all.

  14. #14
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  15. #15
    Fell Down The Rabbit Hole Sense0Purpose1's Avatar
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    Switcher, why do you keep posting the same thing in all the threads you visit?


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  16. #16
    Forum Member creolecop's Avatar
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    In Louisiana we have Sheriff's and PD's. By Louisiana Law, the Sheriff is the Chief LEO in the Parish (county). The Sheriff can shut down a PD from operating within his Parish for investigative reasons. Though this would have to be a gross and large corruption within the PD but he can.

    Sheriff's offices have the larger agencies except for New Orleans city and it's Parish, the city PD is bigger. Everywhere else the S.O. is the larger more resourceful agency. Then you have some S.O's like mine where we work and have deputies assigned inside every city limits within our parish wide jurisdiction. We patrol and handle calls and make traffic stops inside as well as outside the city limits. Even though there are city police officers. The cool thing is sometimes we can dictate if the city will handle say for instance a wreck. If we get dispatched first and get there, if it's in the city we can either work it or make the city handle it, deputies choice. The city doesn't have that choice, they have to if we give it to them. We have all the labs and superior equipment. We run a jail and a prison in my parish, our corrections deputies are fully commissioned deputies who go to our patrol academy during their first. Where I work the Sheriff's are the big dogs.

    I'v had people say oh, I know people at the police dept when I give them a ticket, then their friend says, "girl thats not the city, you just got one from the Sheriff Dept. Oooh you screwed, the Sheriff Dept don't play".

    I'v rolled up to back up city officer and seen and heard people say when I arrived, "Oh s--t I'm going in the house, Lord the Sheriff done rolled in here"

    The best one I'v heard is truckers around here on their CB's call the city police "Juveniles", The Sheriff's Dept are "big boys" and the State Police, "full growns". Although our State Police don't do diddly. My good buddy moved from a city dept and has been State police for 4yrs and he said, man I'm still trying to figure out what the hell I do or am suppose to be doing, LOL

    city and Sherrif deputies down here would get the same respect. The constables I'm not so sure they would be looked at the same as the City or Sheriff.

  17. #17
    Forum Member breezy062's Avatar
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    Ok, maybe this will help...

    First of all, I want to sincerely thank each of you that responded, your input is greatly appreciated.

    Many of you hit the nail on the head in answering my question, though I do take the blame for being far too wordy.

    Do "Police Officers" that don't have Sheriff's or Constables in their areas respect the title "Sheriff's Deputy" or "Deputy Constables" as a full LEO?

    In other words would a "Police Officer" view a "Deputy" traveling through his area as a full LEO even though Deputies in the Police Officer's area don't have the same "normal duties" as Police Officers, and there may not be Constables in his district?

    I overheard a [apparent] Police Officer refer to the title Deputy Constable as a "wanna-be" cop... it was disturbing.

    So, the question wasn't about the duties or districts, it was more about familiarity with other titles, other LE agencies outside your own areas and your respect for those titles that aren't LE agencies in your area.

    I was born and raised in Washington DC where we have no Sheriff's, Constables, or State Police, just the City Police, so I never understood the roles of anything other than city Police Officer. I can imagine that, unless there is some sort of training, a new patrol officer may not understand the rolls of other titles, Sheriff/Constable...I know I didn't until I moved to Texas.
    Last edited by breezy062; 04-02-2009 at 12:45 AM. Reason: addition
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  18. #18
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    Ok, let me break it down for you. Everry Countyinthe nation has a Sheriff. He/she is an elected official and Deputies worj for him/her. In Louisiana and a few other states. They are called Constables. Same thing,l differnt name. The fact that the Sheriff is an elected official, he/she is technically the highest ranking law enforcement officer in that county. They usually have state wide jurisdivtion. In other words, the Sheriff can go anywhere inthe state and make an arrest and really doesnt need to get anyones approval. Again, Deputies are his direct representatives. Some counties also have Police departments. In GA, the counties that have police departments patrol the caounties, make calls for service and issue traffic citations. RThe Sherriff and his Deputies mainly maintain the jail, serve papers and act as Baliffs inthe court. Technically the Deputies can patrol and make arrests, but in counties that have police officers, they usually dont.

    So, when you ask do Police respect Deputies, technically deputies out rank the police by the fact they have a larger jurisdiction and they represent the Sheriff who is the highest ranking LE officer in the county.

    Bottom line, police work the city limits and Deputies work the county, but reserve the right to work inthe city limits as well. Hope this helps.

    And btw, I like the avatar.

  19. #19
    607 R.A.B.'s Avatar
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    Yes they get the same respect from me. We are another state where the Sheriff and Police all go to the same academy. We don't have any Constables that I am aware of.
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  20. #20
    Forum Member breezy062's Avatar
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    Alpha, thanks for the input...

    But like I mentioned, I was born and raised in Washington, DC...hince not a state, nor in a state, nor in a county and therefor no Sheriff, no Contables and no "State" police.... so I just had never thought about a Sheriff or Constable nor saw one or understood their roles... I can only imagine that an officer in DC (just as an example -- no offense to the DC officers -- I just used DC as an example) may or may not understand the roles of Constable/Sheriff's and the possibility could exist that the titles may not be equally respected.

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  21. #21
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    There is mutual respect becaue they are ALL law enforcement officers. Even state Patrol. My sister lives in PG County and I am up there al the time. Its the same up there in that area.

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  22. #22
    Forum Member TraumaRN's Avatar
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    This is completely off topic, but it got me to thinking. I've been pulled over 3 times in my life. The last time I got pulled over, the deputy's last name was "Woody"

    So I got pulled over by Deputy Sheriff Woody....

    Christ, I hope he never gets elected (Sheriff Woody)

  23. #23
    Forum Member TraumaRN's Avatar
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    ....,,,,,,,,,,,.
    Last edited by TraumaRN; 04-02-2009 at 03:36 AM.

  24. #24
    Forum Member TraumaRN's Avatar
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    holy crap triple post.

  25. #25
    Forum Member ArkansasFan24's Avatar
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    When outside my home area I revere everyone with a badge.

    In Arkansas, cities have police departments, and a few have town marshalls which is basically the same thing here.

    Counties are covered by sheriff's departments, and the sheriff is the chief law enforcement officer in a county (cities are in counties). The sheriff can basically deputize whomever he wants, yet to take enforcement action the deputy will have to become a certified officer. Typically deputies patrol and provide enforcement to the smaller towns and unincorporated parts of their county, yet as county officers they have highest authority everywhere inside the county. Sheriffs also oversee jails, court security, and the serving of civil processes, etc.

    Constables are elected, just as a sheriff is, however, they are elected within a township. Townships will lie inside counties and may include incorporated cities with their own police departments. Most constables don't take any enforcement action, yet as their power is derived from the state constitution they do have LE authority. Only recently have standards come to pass by which constables must receive some type of training. Rarely will a constable have an organized department and will probably patrol around (assuming he does) in his personal vehicle with a blue light attached somehow with perhaps magnets on the door that identify him. I should note that townships have little, if any, modern-day bearing on the geopolitical structure of Arkansas.

    Institutional law enforcement officers such as those of public colleges, hospitals, etc actually have statewide authority now thanks to a legislative act a couple years ago. It's a logical act for me as those officers are state employees with broken up primary jurisdictions. Park rangers are the same way.

    State police and game and fish have authority everywhere in the state also.
    Last edited by ArkansasFan24; 04-02-2009 at 09:15 AM.

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