Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentLaw Enforcement & Police · 3 years ago

what's the difference between sheriff , deputy and police. Is one a higher rank?

I know this is a stupid question

10 Answers

  • 3 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Police patrol officer:

    Police patrol officers are sometimes referred to as “beat cops”. These professionals handle a variety of tasks, including the pursuit and arrest of perpetrators, emergency and traffic accident response, and the general enforcement of motor vehicle and criminal laws.

    The biggest difference between a police officer and a sheriff’s deputy is their jurisdictional authority. Police jurisdiction begins and ends at the boundaries of the municipality it serves. This boundary might be a city, a town or a county, whatever the specifics of the municipality are. Police officers patrol the area in their jurisdiction, though they can also act outside their jurisdiction in the right circumstances.


    Most police patrol officer positions require training in a vocational school or an Associate’s degree. Candidates for these roles typically attend a certified training academy before becoming an officer. These training academies will involve both classroom instruction and skills training. It’s important to ensure your program of choice adheres to state requirements.

    Job outlook and salary

    Police patrol officers are in higher demand generally than sheriff’s deputies or correctional officers. There were 5,738 job openings for patrol officers posted online in 2016, and the BLS reports that job opportunities will be greater in cities and areas with large populations.1

    Candidates looking to stand out from the competition may want to consider pursuing a Bachelor’s degree. Being able to speak a second language can also be a big plus for police departments that serve diverse communities.

    The average annual salary for police patrol officers in 2016 was $10,680.

    Sheriff’s deputy:

    Sheriff’s deputies investigate illegal or suspicious activity, patrol roads to detect law violators, take control of collision scenes, and assist collision victims. The role is very similar to that of a police patrol officer, only with county-wide or state-wide jurisdiction.

    For example, you might find sheriff’s deputies more often on highways or dispersed widely throughout a county, whereas police patrol officers will usually patrol a smaller municipality.

    According to the BLS, sheriffs’ departments tend to be relatively small despite their wider jurisdiction range.

    It’s important to note that there is jurisdictional overlap between local police departments, sheriff’s offices, state highway patrols and park or forest rangers. Cooperation among agencies is frequent. This state-wide cooperation is particularly useful for townships, villages, parishes and boroughs that have no municipal police force.


    Similar to patrol officers, most sheriff’s deputy positions require training in a vocational school or an Associate’s degree. According to the BLS, many applicants for entry-level police jobs will have taken at least some college courses, and a significant number are college graduates. Additionally, agencies may offer financial assistance to officers who pursue degrees related to the field.

    Job outlook and salary

    There were 394 job openings for sheriff’s deputies posted online in 2016.1 The growth rate for sheriff and sheriff’s deputy positions is supposed to increase at a rate on par with all occupations, with another 258,400 job openings expected through 2024, according to O*NET.

    The average annual salary for sheriff’s deputies in 2016 was $9,680

    Correctional officer

    Correctional officers—often referred to as “COs”—represent an entirely different side of law enforcement as compared to their counterparts in police departments and sheriff’s offices.

    COs are responsible for enforcing rules and regulations inside a state or federal prison, jail or rehabilitative or correctional facility. They supervise inmates during meals, recreation, work and other daily activities, according to the BLS. They also inspect correctional facilities to ensure security and prevent escape. Both COs and sheriff’s deputies are tasked with transporting prisoners between correctional facilities and state or federal courthouses.

    While sheriff’s deputies and police officers carry handguns on a routine basis, COs use firearms only in emergency situations. Correctional officers usually work the standard eight hours per day, five days per week. That said, this position can come with odd hours—inmates obviously don’t clock out after business hours, so correctional officers can expect work schedules that include all hours of the day and night.


    Correctional officers must have at least a high school diploma or equivalent, according to the BLS. Some state and local agencies may require additional education and training. Some corrections departments will provide training based on the American Correctional Association (ACA), while some areas have training academies specific to these standards.

    Professional correctional officer training will cover self-defense, institutional policies, regulations and the security policies needed to safely maintain order. Most corrections officers do not carry firearms while on duty, but may receive training in their use for emergency situations. Since training requirements will vary by employer and facility, it’s important to look up the correctional facilities in your area to ensure you are checking the right boxes for employment.

    Job outlook and salary

    Our job analysis revealed 2,450 openings for COs in 2016, with the BLS predicting 474,700 jobs to open between 2014 and 2024.1 Demand for this position is influenced heavily by laws and criminal justice policy. Any changes in prison sentencing or criminal law could impact the job opportunity for correctional officers. But with retirement and turnover, job opportunity is expected to be solid.

    According to the BLS, the median annual wage for correctional officers was $1,820 in 2016

    Source(s): I am a retired police officer. I retired as a sergeant, after 29 years, from a very large department, about 12,000 officers. I was a patrol officer for 4 years in a very diverse area. I was a tactical officer in the high rise project areas of my city. We called it vertical patrol in that we walked the the stairways of the high rises most of the time. I did that for 5 years and was promoted by test to detective. I worked violent crime.. homicide, sex, officer involved shooting and robbery.
  • 3 years ago

    Usually on is retarded, one is autistic and one is extremely dumb. It varies from locale to locale.

  • 3 years ago

    Sheriff is the senior elected (in most cases) law enforcement official in a county. The guys who work under him are the deputies. They are responsible for law enforcement in the entire county but do allow the cities to form their own police departments which are independent. The police department works for the city and the Police Chief is usually hired by the city council. Since the city police work for the city, they have an incentive to turn a blind eye to crimes committed by the city officials. If a city fires its police department then the sheriff is responsible for law enforcement again. ***NOTE. In Las Vegas Nevada there are no police, only the Clark County Sheriff's Department, which as a result is one of the biggest Sheriff departments in the USA. Clark County also includes the town of Mesquite where the shooter came from so if the sheriff had been paying a bit of attention he may have noted the weapon and ammo sales going on....

  • 3 years ago

    A Sheriff is an elected law enforcement official and works for the County. The Sheriff runs the county jails and provide law enforcement for unincorporated areas. Deputies are sworn law enforcement officers that work for the Sheriff.

    Police are sworn law enforcement officers employed by cities or perhaps the state. They work for the Chief of Police of that city and the Chief is usually appointed by the Mayor and/or City Council.

    The Chief of Police and Sheriff are different positions, but roughly equal in rank. Same for Deputies and Police officers.

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  • 3 years ago

    Sheriff is higher than deputy. Sheriff and deputy usually work for the county. Police usually work for the city, state, or town.

  • kswck2
    Lv 7
    3 years ago

    A policeman can arrest you for breaking the law. A Deputy is an assistant with similar powers. A sheriff has the same powers, but can also confiscate property to pay off a debt you may owe.

  • Joe
    Lv 7
    3 years ago

    Not a stupid question.

    "Deputy" is a more junior position to another officer. Sometimes a part-time civilian, but often full time, and a sworn officer.

    (e.g., A "Deputy U.S. Marshal" can be very senior. Includes people like Wyatt Erp...)

    Police are usually employed by a municipal government: a city, or township.

    Sheriffs are often county officials, but are the primary law enforcement officers only in rural areas where there are few municipalities. Sworn officers reporting to the Sheriff would be Deputy Sheriffs.

  • Anonymous
    3 years ago

    It really depends on where you are...

    In general a Police Officer and Deputy are equivalent, but can have varying ranks within each one. The big difference would be that a Deputy generally works for the County, and a Police Officer generally works for the City or other Government municipality. So in that respect a Deputy actually has a wider enforcement range, as they can generally still perform their functions withing different Cities in their county. But it is harder for a Police Officer to have jurisdiction in another City.

    The Sheriff is generally the top Official overseeing the Deputies, this would be equivalent to the Chief of Police.

  • Ron
    Lv 7
    3 years ago

    The sheriff is the elected head of a county enforcement agency. A deputy is a subordinate of a sheriff. Police are usually the law enforcement folks that a city employs. Neither one rank higher than another with respect to their jurisdictions. Of course, there are other "police agencies" such as DHS.

  • Jared
    Lv 7
    3 years ago

    Generally speaking, a sheriff works for a county, a police officer works for a city, and a deputy is someone who is not an officer yet but works with one.

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