Page 1 of 2 12 Last
  1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    2

    Small Town Sheriff?

    I'm not a police officer, but I'm writing a screenplay that involves a small town sheriff. I looked all over the web, but couldn't find an answer to my question, so that's why I'm here.

    Question: Imagine a very small town with a sheriff. Would that sheriff be required by law to have a deputy? Or can a town be so small that there is no need for a deputy?

    My story works better without a deputy and just a sheriff, but I'm not sure having a small town with only a sheriff and no deputy is even realistic or possible. Anyone out there know if it's legal or even plausible to have a town with only a sheriff and no deputy?

    Thanks for any help on this matter
    Josh

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    FJDave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    So Cal
    Posts
    5,075
    It's possible, but he'll have to be on call 24-7 with no days off or vacation time....which means no fishing, no going to Disneyland, no travel to next state to go skiing, etc. That makes for one grumpy Sheriff.

    Quote Originally Posted by Smurfette
    Lord have mercy. You're about as slick as the business side of duct tape.
    Quote Originally Posted by DAL
    You are without doubt a void surrounded by a sphincter muscle.

  3. #3
    DAL
    DAL is offline
    "Official Non-Person"
    DAL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    California - Nevada
    Posts
    9,792
    In general, towns don't have sheriffs at all. The sheriff is a county officer.
    Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
    Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein

  4. #4
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    940
    Quote Originally Posted by DAL View Post
    In general, towns don't have sheriffs at all. The sheriff is a county officer.
    True, but their are some instances of "City Sheriffs", like the NYC Sheriff, the Baltimore City Sheriff, and City Sheriffs in Virginia. It's not just East Coast either: Carson City, Nevada Sheriff's Office (I know, carson is a city/county thing).
    Last edited by BigMyk; 08-20-2009 at 01:52 PM.

  5. #5
    DAL
    DAL is offline
    "Official Non-Person"
    DAL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    California - Nevada
    Posts
    9,792
    Quote Originally Posted by BigMyk View Post
    True, but their are some instances of "City Sheriffs", like the NYC Sheriff, the Baltimore City Sheriff, and City Sheriffs in Virginia. It's not just East Coast either: Carson City, Nevada Sheriff's Office (I know, carson is a city/county thing).
    True; that is why I said "in general." But also irrelevant to the inquiry.

    None of the cities you mention is a "small town." In Virginia, an incorporated city also has the powers of a county; it even has a county with the word "city" in its name. The New York City Sheriff merely serves legal process. Elsewhere, e.g., San Francisco, there are entities that are both cities and counties. In these, the sheriff's functions are limited, typically operating the jail, providing courtroom security and serving process. I doubt that the story is to be about these functions.
    Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
    Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein

  6. #6
    All hail Smurf!

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Indiana.
    Posts
    1,946
    Maybe you should go with "Town Marshal" There is a town here that has a full time Marshal... with no paid deputies...

  7. #7
    DAL
    DAL is offline
    "Official Non-Person"
    DAL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    California - Nevada
    Posts
    9,792
    Quote Originally Posted by Hoosier_Boy View Post
    Maybe you should go with "Town Marshal" There is a town here that has a full time Marshal... with no paid deputies...
    Yes, I have heard of those. There are also cities or towns with one-man police forces. Usually, the "chief of police" will rely on help from other agencies, such as the county sheriff or state olice when needed.

    You also might be able to find a very small county somewhere that has just a sheriff or a sheriff with one deputy.
    Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
    Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein

  8. #8
    Operator
    Bearcat357's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Stuttgart, Germany
    Posts
    18,342
    Quote Originally Posted by DAL View Post
    You also might be able to find a very small county somewhere that has just a sheriff or a sheriff with one deputy.
    There are lots of those in rural NW Missouri..... A Sheriff and 1-2 Deputies...

    Hell, we only had 9 Road Deputies (that included the Chief Deputy).....a Investigator...and the Sheriff and that it for the 4th largest county (size wise) in the State....

  9. #9
    Forum Member
    DaisyCutter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    AZ
    Posts
    411
    As indicated, traditionally:

    Town = Marshall
    County = Sheriff

    In the old west, a small town could just have a marshall. He'd probably have to routinely appoint/deputize a town member if he went away for a vacation, investigation, extradition, etc. Also, if he had a person in jail, he'd need someone to stay in the jail with 'em. Perhaps he'd send word to the Sheriff for a man.

    I don't think it's really 100% possible alone, or ever truly was.
    Last edited by DaisyCutter; 08-20-2009 at 04:56 PM.
    "Too many times, too many times payin' the price, just for the thrill" - Tesla

  10. #10
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Montgomery Alabama
    Posts
    16,943
    You're rather looking at the Andy Griffith Model, although Andy had a Deputy. None other than the immortal Barney Fyfe. I've watched many an episode of Andy Griffith over the years, and often wondered how he functioned with only one patrol car, took any time off, or who protected Mayberry when Andy and Barney double dated. As has been noted, the Sheriff is a County Officer. In many states, he is the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the county. Unless your "solo" Sheriff recieves assistance from allied Law Enforcement agencies, he's going to be a Sheriff, who can really never take a day off, go on vacation, go fishing etc.

  11. #11
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    2
    Thanks a lot everyone. You've all given me plenty to think about. I appreciate your suggestions.

    Josh

  12. #12
    Aged like a fine wine
    grumpyirishman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Mid-Atlantic US
    Posts
    1,908

    Resurrecting an old story line??

    "We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm" -George Orwell

    "It's 106 miles to Chicago, we've got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing diapers." - Blues Brothers

  13. #13
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ohio
    Posts
    7,103
    Yes, a town can have only one officer (and he may or may not be full time). He will probably be referred to as the chief or as the town or village marshall.

  14. #14
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    NW Ohio
    Posts
    3,123
    Quote Originally Posted by DaisyCutter View Post
    As indicated, traditionally:

    Town = Marshall
    County = Sheriff

    In the old west, a small town could just have a marshall. He'd probably have to routinely appoint/deputize a town member if he went away for a vacation, investigation, extradition, etc. Also, if he had a person in jail, he'd need someone to stay in the jail with 'em. Perhaps he'd send word to the Sheriff for a man.

    I don't think it's really 100% possible alone, or ever truly was.
    Except for Chuck Norris, he could be the county sheriff of every county in say Ohio all at once, all by himself.

    Bill
    Just pay your dues, and be quiet :-)

  15. #15
    It erat quando hic adveni
    Oddball-Six's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    39°59'06"N, 104°49'13"W
    Posts
    765
    Quote Originally Posted by willbird View Post
    Except for Chuck Norris, he could be the county sheriff of every county in say Ohio all at once, all by himself.

    Bill
    AND not even carry a gun! Just clod around in his "walker" boots and jeans trying to make kicks without splitting the pants!
    -------------------------------
    You can't fix stupid, but you can arrest it. - LINY

    "Their house, their rules. And when they get robbed, they can call 911 and ask them to send a hippie to protect them." - ateamer

  16. #16
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    NW Ohio
    Posts
    3,123
    Quote Originally Posted by Oddball-Six View Post
    AND not even carry a gun! Just clod around in his "walker" boots and jeans trying to make kicks without splitting the pants!
    To be fair, this is partially because he has that dirt bike with the rocket launchers on it.

    Bill
    Just pay your dues, and be quiet :-)

  17. #17
    I'll Be Back !
    kckpd756's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    566
    Quote Originally Posted by willbird View Post
    Except for Chuck Norris, he could be the county sheriff of every county in say Ohio all at once, all by himself.

    Bill
    Since everyone would be so scared and Law abiding, Chuck would find humor in breaking the law himself, just to see if he could take himself into custody. He is after all Chuck Norris.
    "I would rather live one day as a Lion, than a thousand years as a Sheep."

  18. #18
    Max Rockatansky
    Maverick1701's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    SE TX Panhandle
    Posts
    1,044
    Zombie thread time!

    my first SO job there was the Sheriff and I (deputy) and we had a reserve who would work maybe once every two weeks.
    Last edited by Maverick1701; 01-13-2012 at 05:27 PM.
    Chris
    STEAM ID: MrManslaughter
    XBOX Live: Citizen GaKar


    http://i36.tinypic.com/1zoxgtc.gif

  19. #19
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    NW Ohio
    Posts
    3,123
    Ohio also has Constables, interesting that if you were convicted of one or more felonies prior to 1997 you CAN still be appointed a Constable

    509.01 Designation of police constables.
    (A) As used in this section, “felony” has the same meaning as in section 109.511 of the Revised Code.

    (B) Subject to division (C) of this section, the board of township trustees may designate any qualified persons as police constables and may provide them with the automobiles, communication systems, uniforms, and police equipment that the board considers necessary. Except as provided in division (C) of this section, police constables designated under this division, who have been awarded a certificate attesting to the satisfactory completion of an approved state, county, or municipal police basic training program, as required by section 109.77 of the Revised Code, may be removed or suspended only under the conditions and by the procedures in sections 505.491 to 505.495 of the Revised Code. Any other police constable shall serve at the pleasure of the township trustees. In case of removal or suspension of a police constable by the board of township trustees, that police constable may appeal the decision of the board to the court of common pleas of the county to determine the sufficiency of the cause of removal or suspension. The police constable shall take the appeal within ten days of written notice to the police constable of the decision of the board. The board may pay each police constable, from the general funds of the township, the compensation that the board by resolution prescribes for the time actually spent in keeping the peace, protecting property, and performing duties as a police constable, including duties as an ex officio deputy bailiff of a municipal court pursuant to section 1901.32 of the Revised Code and duties as a ministerial officer of a county court. The police constable shall not be paid fees in addition to the compensation allowed by the board for services rendered as a police constable, including services as an ex officio deputy bailiff of a municipal court pursuant to section 1901.32 of the Revised Code and as a ministerial officer of a county court. All constable fees provided for by section 509.15 of the Revised Code, if due for services rendered while the police constable performing those services is being compensated as a police constable for that performance, shall be paid into the general fund of the township.

    (C)(1) The board of township trustees shall not designate a person as a police constable pursuant to division (B) of this section on a permanent basis, on a temporary basis, for a probationary term, or on other than a permanent basis if the person previously has been convicted of or has pleaded guilty to a felony.

    (2)(a) The board of township trustees shall terminate the employment of a police constable designated under division (B) of this section if the police constable does either of the following:

    (i) Pleads guilty to a felony;

    (ii) Pleads guilty to a misdemeanor pursuant to a negotiated plea agreement as provided in division (D) of section 2929.43 of the Revised Code in which the police constable agrees to surrender the certificate awarded to the police constable under section 109.77 of the Revised Code.

    (b) The board shall suspend from employment a police constable designated under division (B) of this section if the police constable is convicted, after trial, of a felony. If the police constable files an appeal from that conviction and the conviction is upheld by the highest court to which the appeal is taken or if the police constable does not file a timely appeal, the board shall terminate the employment of that police constable. If the police constable files an appeal that results in that police constable’s acquittal of the felony or conviction of a misdemeanor, or in the dismissal of the felony charge against the police constable, the board shall reinstate that police constable. A police constable who is reinstated under division (C)(2)(b) of this section shall not receive any back pay unless that police constable’s conviction of the felony was reversed on appeal, or the felony charge was dismissed, because the court found insufficient evidence to convict the police constable of the felony.

    (3) Division (C) of this section does not apply regarding an offense that was committed prior to January 1, 1997.

    (4) The suspension from employment, or the termination of the employment, of a police constable under division (C)(2) of this section shall be in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code.

    Effective Date: 01-01-2004
    Just pay your dues, and be quiet :-)

  20. #20
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,319
    Does your screenplay involve the Feds coming into the small town and making the lone Sheriff look like the fat stereotypical hillbilly bozo as so many movies have already done?

  21. #21
    Forum Member
    FJDave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    So Cal
    Posts
    5,075
    Thread is 2.5 years old, folks....

    Quote Originally Posted by Smurfette
    Lord have mercy. You're about as slick as the business side of duct tape.
    Quote Originally Posted by DAL
    You are without doubt a void surrounded by a sphincter muscle.

  22. #22
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,319
    Quote Originally Posted by FJDave View Post
    Thread is 2.5 years old, folks....
    Shows how much attention I (most of us) pay to the post date.

  23. #23
    Max Rockatansky
    Maverick1701's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    SE TX Panhandle
    Posts
    1,044
    Quote Originally Posted by RSGSRT View Post
    Shows how much attention I (most of us) pay to the post date.
    it just proves that some of us still use the search function lol
    Chris
    STEAM ID: MrManslaughter
    XBOX Live: Citizen GaKar


    http://i36.tinypic.com/1zoxgtc.gif

  24. #24
    Forum Member
    DeputySC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    1,281
    Its not uncommon around here for a small city/town department to not have enough 'resources' to be 100% self sufficient. We a have a town in our county that has a two man department thats suppose to be on call certain days between 9a to 5p. They both drive those old Chevy Luminas. They dont have radios so dispatch calls their phones if they get a call. More often then not you cant get a hold of them. So of course the county picks up their slack and we just police the town. The two man department is more less just kind of 'there'.

  25. #25
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,319
    Quote Originally Posted by Maverick1701 View Post
    it just proves that some of us still use the search function lol
    Using the search feature is all fine and dandy, reviving a 2+ year old thread without stating that you are doing so is different since most members just read/reply to threads that appear near the top of the first page (hence the reason I usually don't look at the post date)

Page 1 of 2 12 Last

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Log in

Click here to log in or register