For all intents and purposes, police officers – often referred to as “beat cops” – and deputy sheriffs generally perform the same functions. Both are entry-level positions tasked with promoting public safety through regular patrols, educational initiatives and criminal investigation.
The biggest difference between a police officer and a sheriff’s deputy is jurisdictional authority. Police jurisdiction begins and ends at the boundaries of the municipality it serves. Sheriff’s deputies, on the other hand, have county-wide – and in some cases state-wide – jurisdiction. For example, a Chicago police officer does not have jurisdiction in the neighboring city of Oak Forest. But, because both are located in Cook County (Ill.), the Cook County Sheriff’s Office has jurisdiction in both.
“Sheriff’s deputies perform similar duties to those of police officers, with the exception of accident reports. You’ll often find them patrolling courthouses, protecting defendants and even serving as bailiffs, depending on the district. Police officers are those in law enforcement who respond to crimes and accidents. They also patrol the streets, control traffic and train cadets. The differences in responsibility mean differences in pay.” Read more here….
The “usually” part has to do mainly with federal police forces. If you pay close attention when you’re in Washington, D.C. and its environs, you’ll notice that almost every federal government agency has its own police. There’s the Bureau of Printing and Engraving Police, the FBI Police, the Smithsonian Institution Police, the U.S. Capitol Police, the U.S. Supreme Court Police, and so on. They are armed, they have police-type uniforms, they often have marked patrol cars with emergency lights and sirens, and they can make arrests and serve warrants. However, their function is more like a security force, protecting the people and facilities under the umbrella of their employer. Serious crimes committed on or in their facilities will usually be handled by an inspector general’s office (that also has police powers, and special agents, like the FBI does) or the FBI. The cars are mostly driven around the perimeter streets and possibly between satellite facilities.
“Police are usually general-purpose law enforcement officers. They are most often employed by a city government, but may be employed by a county, state, college, hospital, transit district, or other quasi-governmental organization with the power to create a law enforcement branch.” Read more here….
In California, The Office of the Sheriff is a county level law enforcement agency. The members of this agency are called Deputy Sheriffs. The ‘Sheriff’s Office’ is delegated the tasks of running the local jail, serving as court bailiffs, transporting prisoners, police patrol of all unincorporated areas of the county, and running any county-wide services. They may also take over any police functions if that police department cannot perform their duties due to, understaffed, corruption, or lack of proper resources. For more information about Police Officer Vs Deputy Sheriff to visit our website.