Sheriffs play a unique and important role in law enforcement across the United States. They can sometimes be confused with state and local police, but the sheriff serves and holds a very different role than your typical law enforcement officer.
By definition “a sheriff is an official in a county or independent city responsible for keeping the peace and enforcing the law. Unlike most officials in law enforcement in the United States, sheriffs are usually elected… Elected sheriffs are accountable directly to the citizens of their county, the constitution of their state, and ultimately the United States Constitution.” (Wikipedia)
So while most local law enforcement officers report to the local police chief, who then report to the local politicians, the sheriffs report directly to the people that elected them, cutting out the politicians in between.
Sheriffs have arguably never been more important than they are right now, and it’s bringing the position under attack in many places across the country.
With the rise of important issues like gun laws, sheriffs have been the lone warriors standing between the local people and unconstitutional laws and agendas being pushed through by politicians at local and state levels.
Sheriffs have the ability to reject enforcing laws they see as unconstitutional, protecting their local constituents from government overreach and protecting their rights. Sheriffs in many states have been exercising these powers more frequently in recent years and it’s become a problem for politicians that have an agenda.
This reality is no better displayed then with dealing with gun control policies. The Constitution enshrines the people’s right to keep and bear arms in the 2nd Amendment. But now more than ever, the federal government is attempting to restrict and regulate this right. When local government responds by implementing 2nd Amendment Sanctuaries, Sheriffs are their last line of defense. Will they enforce federal policies or uphold the rights being protected in their local jurisdiction?
Here is a look at issues and trends which will have an impact of sheriffs moving forward: