Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentLaw Enforcement & Police · 1 decade ago

Sheriff, Marshal, Police?

In the USA they have Sheriffs, Marshals and Police, sometimes all in the same area. What is the difference.

12 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The United States Marshals Service (USMS) is a federal law enforcement agency within the United States Department of Justice and is the oldest federal law enforcement agency in the United States. The U.S. Marshals Service holds the broadest authority of all federal law enforcement agencies.

    The USMS is the enforcement arm of the federal courts, protecting federal courts and ensuring the effective operation of the judicial system.

    In the United States a sheriff is generally (but not always) the highest, usually elected, law enforcement officer of a county. The political election of a person to serve as a police leader is an almost uniquely American tradition. (The practice has been followed in the British Channel Island of Jersey since at least the 16th Century). All law enforcement officers working for the agency headed by a sheriff are called sheriff's deputies or deputy sheriffs and are so called because they are deputized by the sheriff to perform the same duties as he. (In some states, however, a Sheriff may not be a sworn officer but merely an elected official in charge of sworn officers.)

    State police are a police body unique to each U.S. state, having statewide authority to conduct law enforcement activities and criminal investigations. In general, they perform functions outside the jurisdiction of the county sheriff, such as enforcing traffic laws on state highways and interstate expressways, overseeing the security of the state capitol complex, protecting the governor, training new officers for local police forces too small to operate an academy, providing technological and scientific support services, and helping to coordinate multi-jurisdictional task force activity in serious or complicated cases in those states that grant full police powers statewide. A general trend has been to bring all of these agencies under a state Department of Public Safety. Additionally they may be serve under different state departments, such as the Highway Patrol under the state Department of Transportation. Some states have both a state police and a highway patrol, such as Arkansas.

    Just to add to that, some municipalities have their own police departments, e.g the LAPD, NYPD etc.

    Confusing, ain't it?

  • 4 years ago


    Source(s): Criminal Record Search Database -
  • 1 decade ago

    Marshals-National Police that work with the Nat'l Gov't. The head of the U.S. Marshals are appointed by the president. The U.S. Marshal Service is a Federal Law Enforcement Agency, which is like the FBI, but different.

    Sheriff Officers-Police Officers that patrol in county of a state.

    Sheriffs Officers usually have jurisdiction over a certain local jurisdiction. They also have jurisdiction over some state officials as well (Highway Patrol) The Head Sheriff is elected by the county residents. Sheriff's Patrol Officers will sometimes work in areas such as Townships in a county, as well as work in multi-jurisdictions with local police officers (usually townships.)

    Police-Law Enforcement Officials. The word Police is usually used in reference for State or Local Law Enforcement. State is sometimes refered to as Troopers. Police officers are put on the force by the local gov't after they have recieved a special type of training.

    Also, State Troopers and Highway Patrol Officers have either Supervisors, or Colonels that are in charge of the State Police. Some states such as Arkansas, have Highway Patrol, and State Patrol that work together, and some states like Kentucky have State Troopers, as well as a State Vehicle Enforcement Agency, which works with the State Troopers.

  • 4 years ago

    Police genereally handle all crimes and traffic violations within the city limits. The sheriff handles all crimes in the county outside the city limits, and is also responsible for the jails and providing court security. County marshals generally handle the civil stuff within the county (including within city limits) - stuff like evictions, process serving, ROs, etc... Most marshals have been absorbed into the sheriff's departments. Fred P.

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  • 1 decade ago

    The word Sheriff is an anglo-saxon derivitive. See this explaination from Wikipedia

    A shire is an administrative area of Great Britain and Australia. The first shires were created by the Anglo-Saxons in what is now central and southern England. Shires were controlled by a royal official known as a "shire reeve" or sheriff. Historically shires were sub-divided into hundreds or wapentakes although other less common sub-divisions existed

    Shires in United States (Virginia)

    In 1634, eight shires were created in the Virginia Colony by order of Charles I, King of England. They were renamed as counties only a few years later. They were:


    Charles City Shire (now Charles City County, Virginia)

    Charles River Shire (now York County, Virginia)

    Elizabeth City Shire

    Henrico (now Henrico County, Virginia)

    James City Shire (now James City County, Virginia)

    Warwick River Shire

    Warrosquyoake Shire now (Isle of Wight County, Virginia)

    Of these, five are considered still extant in essentially their same political form in Virginia as of 2006, although most boundaries have changed during the last 400 years.

  • Keith
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Sheriff's are elected. U.S. Marshall's are appointed by the President. Police are hired by the local unit of government.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Sheriffs take away your horse if like your riding with out a saddle, Marshals chase you all over the USA and Police do what they want in the city . But the marshal has more brownie points then sheriffs or

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Sheriffs wear star shaped badges, ride brown or black horses, shot six guns and live in towns in the wild west,

    Marshals wear star shaped badges with a circle around them, ride white horses shot but-line specials, and patrol the county,

    police, wear blue uniforms shot Lazar speed camera guns ride in flashing blue lighted fast cars and wear f--kin- big helmets that there heads don't reach the top of

  • 1 decade ago

    I am a Police Office in the UK and Im thinking about transfering to Australia. HOW do I go about fufilling this ambition?

  • 1 decade ago

    police are the city boys they can arrest you anywhere in city limits. sheriffs are the county boys they can arrest you anywhere in the county. the marshals can be a state or federal and as there name implies they can arrest you anywhere in the state or country.

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