What is a Sheriff's second in command called?

I used to think it was Deputy when I was younger but it seems to me now that everyone under the Sheriff is called a Deputy. So what is the rank structure in a Sheriff's office? Is it similar to a city's police department?

8 Answers

  • 5 months ago
    Best Answer

    They are not all the same. Not every sheriff’s department will have officers with each rank. How many employees working in a sheriff’s department will depend on the size of the county it serves. They differ even by county.

    The responsibilities of sheriffs and their agencies vary considerably by county. Many sheriffs have the role of a police chief, though some lead agencies with limited law enforcement duties. Sheriffs are also often responsible for managing county jails and security at local government buildings.

    A regular officer of a sheriff's office is typically known as a deputy sheriff, sheriff's deputy or informally as a deputy. In a small sheriff's office, the deputies are supervised directly by the sheriff. Large sheriffs offices have several ranks in a similar manner to a police department. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has thousands of regular deputies, who are 8 ranks below the sheriff. The actual second-in-command of the sheriff typically holds the title of chief deputy or undersheriff. In some counties, the undersheriff is the warden of the county jail.


    A sheriff is usually a county’s highest, usually elected, law-enforcement officer. Sheriffs are elected to serve four-year terms in 41 states, two-year terms in three states, a three-year term in one state, and a six-year term in one state. Mary Lois Roach, in 1922, became the first woman in the United States elected as a county's sheriff. As recently as 2010, four women vied for positions at county sheriffs in North Carolina, the most women running for the position at one time in the state’s history. As of September 1, 2010, there were 3,083 sheriffs in the United States.

    Chief Deputy

    The chief deputy sheriff is the highest-ranking appointment law-enforcement officer. She reports directly to the sheriff and oversees the department’s overall operations. She may also directly supervise personnel. In Sampson County, N.C., for example, the chief deputy supervises five division commanders. Some sheriff’s departments refer to the chief deputy as an undersheriff.


    Colonels oversee several divisions, which are each headed by a major. A sheriff’s department may have several colonels, depending on the number of divisions they have. The Hillsborough County, Fla., sheriff’s department for example, has four colonels and each is in charge of a different department. Colonel Donna Lusczynski, for example, oversees the department of investigative services, which is itself further divided into three divisions.


    Majors fulfill many of the same job duties as colonels. In sheriff’s departments that do not have colonels, the rank of major is the highest rank beneath sheriff and chief deputy. Women are increasingly being promoted into this top-management position. The Harris County Sheriff’s Department in Pennsylvania, for example, promoted three women into this position in 2013. This is the first time that three women in such high positions have served together.


    As a captain in a sheriff’s department, you are in charge of a division, such as a child-protective investigations division or a criminal investigations division. You oversee the personnel in your department and are responsible for hiring and evaluating them. You may also assist your major with her duties.


    The rank of lieutenant is the first senior officer promotion available to you. The promotion comes with increased responsibilities. You’ll supervise personnel with lesser ranks, such as sergeants and deputies. You may be responsible for a specific group of deputies. You report to the captain of your division.


    The first major promotion available to you in a sheriff’s department is the rank of Sergeant. As a sergeant, you can supervise corporals and deputies. You may also play a role in their training. To earn this rank, you have to show good leadership ability and prove that you have strong communication skills.


    The rank of Corporal is the first promotion available to you after joining a sheriff’s department as a deputy or officer. This rank shows your experience. As a corporal, you’ll have some authority over the deputies and officers in the department, though this authority often does not include a supervisory role.

    Deputy or Officer

    Many people begin their careers with a sheriff’s department with the rank of deputy or officer. You earn this rank after completing initial training. You’ll likely be assigned general duties, such as patrolling streets and highways.


  • james
    Lv 7
    5 months ago

    Hole Always follows AS! when spoke about him.

  • Bruce
    Lv 7
    5 months ago

    Either the Undersheriff or the Chief Deputy.

    There is no standard, each department decides. The general rule is the larger the department, the more ranks they have.

  • 5 months ago


    Deputy Sheriff

    Sheriff's Deputy

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  • Anonymous
    5 months ago

    Ima state trooper and the exact name would be "Sherriff Sargent B*tch"

  • 5 months ago

    Musky Muskrat?

  • 5 months ago

    "First Deputy".

  • 5 months ago

    Undersheriff or deputy chief

    • Bruce
      Lv 7
      5 months agoReport

      Deputy Chief is a rank on a police department. The correct sheriff department rank is Chief Deputy

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