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Difference Between Police Dept and Sheriffs Dept

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Main Difference

We are always concerned about the people who are taking care of us. While police are a big department, there are many forms that are used in a way that they have the same meanings but are different in some way. The main difference between them is that a police department is the one who deals with all the crimes and prosecutions that take place within their jurisdiction of a city or town. Whereas, a sheriff department is the one who deals with all the crimes and trials that occur within their jurisdiction in the district and areas which fall in them.

Comparison Chart

Basis of DistinctionPolice DeptSheriff Dept
DefinitionA police department is the one that deals with all the crimes and prosecutions that take place within their jurisdiction in a town or city.A Sheriff Department is the one that deals with all the crimes and prosecutions that occur within their jurisdiction in a country or district.
HeadCommissarySheriff
RoleTake care of all the criminal activities and people who carry them.Responsible for all the administrative and functional activities.
UsageCommonly used in the Commonwealth countries.Often utilized in the United States.
BarriersIn all the countries a police department is actively participating in all the criminal prosecutions and maintaining of the law irrespective of the person who handles the job.In some countries sheriff department has the central role in maintaining all the departmental activities whereas in countries such as Canada, it just has a ceremonial position with no proper rights.
AuthorityAnswerable to the Sheriff department.Accountable to the government.
JobAppointed by the officer.Elected to the post.
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Police Dept.

A police department is the one who deals with all the crimes and prosecutions that take place within their jurisdiction. This department is a place with several rooms where all the members of staff in the police department have offices to work and complete their daily jobs. This place is different from a police station that is a place where people come to file their reports; all the criminals brought and kept for some time and the latest, and most active cases conducted that include raids, catching, and even shootings. A police department not only has offices for people but also has many accommodation buildings, in some cases, playing grounds and even swimming pools provided to them. This term is specifically the case in the United Kingdom, where all the facilities are given to the officers even when they are at work. Commissary is the person who leads the department. This term has originated from the United Kingdom, and the word police commonly used in places which have stayed in under the British rule. This fact includes countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and some African regions where the term still exists. It is the most common one used for officers who deal with the domestic violence and crime cases though some countries use other terms even when they perform the same task. Some of the facilities that provide to the officers include Area commands, where the whole department and adjacent areas exist. Then are the barracks that patrol where police can keep a check on all the people coming and going. There are district officers who are used by higher authorities in the department and much more.

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Sheriff Dept.

A sheriff department is the one that deals with all the activities that a regular police station will do; this can include dealing with all the crimes and prosecutions that take place within their jurisdiction. This department will still be the place with several rooms where all the members of staff in the department given offices to work and complete their daily jobs. It is different in a way that the area with whom they work is relatively different from others. While a police station will work within a normal area such as village, town or city. The area of jurisdiction of sheriff is bigger and can extend to even a district. They do not just have to deal with the crime but also have to take care of the administrative matters and making sure all the cases that start from the arrest and finish with the penalties carried out accordingly. This term originated from the United Kingdom but has become more common in the United States where the police department is known as sheriff department. Their duties vary depending on the place they have their job. This post advertised and then selected by the county in which they are working and has duties that include adding different areas under the police commands, maintain law and order within the county. Keeping track of all the police stations that are situated, manage all the issues related to jail and jailers. Making sure all the court hearings are carried out safe, and security provided. They also have the right to act on their own in exceptional circumstances and therefore can implement the civil law. That said, in most countries, this post is just a conventional one.

Key Differences

  1. A police department is the one that deals with all the crimes and prosecutions that take place within their jurisdiction of a city or town. While a sheriff department is the one that deals with all the crimes and prosecutions that occurred within their jurisdiction in the district and areas which fall in them.
  2. The police department is a term that is more commonly used in the Commonwealth countries whereas Sheriff department is the term which commonly employed in the United States.
  3. A police department will take care of all the criminal activities, and people who carry them whereas a sheriff department will be responsible for all the administrative and functional activities.
  4. In some countries like France and America, sheriff department has the primary role in maintaining all the departmental activities whereas in countries such as Canada; it just has a ceremonial position with no proper rights.
  5. A sheriff department is directly answerable to the federal and provincial government whereas a police department is directly responsible for the sheriff department.
  6. A sheriff is elected through proper means and has to follow the orders of the court whereas a police officer is appointed to the post and has to answer to the department.
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Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss

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