Can someone explain to me the various kinds of police (e.g., state, county, sheriff)?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Don Black, Sep 7, 2002.

  1. Don Black

    Don Black Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 1998
    Messages:
    1,480
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    What's the difference between them all? Thanks!
     
  2. Jeff Pryor

    Jeff Pryor Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2002
    Messages:
    653
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Some like cream-filled doughnuts, others like powdered, while still others like glazed.[​IMG]
     
  3. Don Black

    Don Black Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 1998
    Messages:
    1,480
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hmmm...I guess it's the Fibbies who like bear claws. [​IMG]
     
  4. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    8,311
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Florida
    Real Name:
    Joseph DeMartino
    Well, as the names suggest, it is largely a matter of who is paying them, and where they have jurisdiction.

    Local police (city, town, municipal) are paid by the locality and only have jurisdiction within the city/town limits. County police (or county sheriffs, depending on how they are designated) have jurisdiction in sections of the county not legally incorporated into towns or cities. In some areas they also have jusrisdiction over country roads, even within city limits. State police (highway patrol, whatever) usually have primary jurisidiction over state and interstate highways, and facilities or lands own outright by the state. Again, their authority on the state or interstate roads continues even when they pass through city limits.

    So a state or county cop who happened to be driving through your city on his way from one state/county road to another couldn't give you a ticket for exceeding a local speed limit on a surface street, or bust you for violating a city curfew. But he probably could bust you for drug possession because that would be a violation of state law.

    The various departments usually respect each other's jurisdictions, but there are "hot pursuit" exceptions - so a cop from your city would be able to arrest you in the unincorporated county area, or even within the borders of another city, if he chased you while you were escaping from a bank heist in your own city. As a rule the cop would alert local law enforcement and request back-up to make the stop and arrest, though.

    The county and state police may also provide specialized services which are too expensive for local police to maintain, or which they need only infrequently. (County or state SWAT teams are common, and some small municipalities have no crime scene or major crime investigation units. A few have no detectives at all, only a few uniformed patrol officers. These towns would routinely turn over all investigations to county or state officers, and would be assessed a fee for doing so.)

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  5. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 1998
    Messages:
    8,994
    Likes Received:
    349
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    Real Name:
    Dennis
    In California I have also seen "state police" that appear to have jurisdiction over the University of California and State University campuses.
     
  6. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 1999
    Messages:
    4,370
    Likes Received:
    400
    Trophy Points:
    4,110
    Location:
    Central Arkansas
    Real Name:
    Clint
    In areas here, the city police have jurisdiction (granted by the state police) over the sections of interstate which pass through that particular city.
     
  7. Bill_Weinreich

    Bill_Weinreich Second Unit

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2000
    Messages:
    317
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  8. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    8,311
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Florida
    Real Name:
    Joseph DeMartino
     
  9. Danny R

    Danny R Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 23, 2000
    Messages:
    871
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Of course what I find interesting is that here in Atlanta we not only have county police, but also county sheriffs. The sheriffs are elected positions which I believe are primarily for running the jails, however they do have patrol cars about, which makes me wonder what their jurisdiction exactly is.
    Of course the city I grew up in (Milledgeville, GA) was quite fun. We had a National Guard, Georgia Bureau of Investigation office, Georgia State Patrol, City Police, Sheriff, Georgia College Police, Central State Mental Hospital Police, as well as Department of Corrections personnel guarding a men's prison and youth detention center (all within 10 miles of each other). It made drag racing pretty hard to do, as there were always cop cars driving around.
    This is pretty funny since in the movie Pretty Woman, Julia Roberts cites our city as a big racing sort of town.
     
  10. Tom Meyer

    Tom Meyer Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 1999
    Messages:
    402
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The Chicago police have been patrolling the interstate highways within the city limits for a couple years now. I should know -- one of them gave me a speeding ticket last year ! [​IMG]
     
  11. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    8,311
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Florida
    Real Name:
    Joseph DeMartino
    Well, a county sheriff (there is normally only one) is usually an elected official, but sheriff's deputies are regular police officers. In many localities the sheriff's department staffs both the road patrols and the county jail. A friend of mine is a county deputy who works corrections, but who sometimes makes noises about transferring to "the road" when openings come up.

    In a lot of places municipal and county lines blur. Miami is in Dade County, but it is far and away the biggest city in the county and occupies a huge percentage of the land that makes it up. Still the Dade county Sheriff's department and the Miami police are separate entities, if I'm not mistaken. There are similarly separate police departments for the City of Los Angeles and Los Angeles County, which is policed by deputies of the Los Angeles County Sheriff. New York City, by contrast, is actually made up of five separate counties (New York, Bronx, Kings, Queens and Richmond, corresponding to the five burroughs), but has no sheriffs and has a single police department under a commissioner and chief of police.

    There is no "one size fits all" answer to the question raised in the thread title, just common patterns to be described.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  12. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 1999
    Messages:
    4,370
    Likes Received:
    400
    Trophy Points:
    4,110
    Location:
    Central Arkansas
    Real Name:
    Clint


    The way it works here: There is a county sheriff who is an elected official. All other county police report to the sheriff (as well as the mounted patrol) and drive patrol cars with SHERIFF DEPARTMENT stencilled on them.

    Locally, I find the patrol car colors and types interresting. The local police drive white cars with blue lettering and blue lights. The local police chief drives a grey car with no lettering or lights. The county police drive blue cars with blue lights and white lettering. The state police drive white cars with blue stripes, blue lettering and blue lights {they even have a white Z-28 with blue stripes and no external lights (they are all mounted on the dash and in the back glass) that they run as an interceptor on the interstates}. The curious one, though, is the highway police who drive white cars with yellow lettering and blue lights and wear black jack-boots, camoflauge pants and caps, and black t-shirts with a badge screen printed on them. I guess the difference between the state police and the highway police is the state police run the interstates while the highway police run the state-operated highways.
     
  13. Nathan*W

    Nathan*W Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2001
    Messages:
    1,079
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    110
    Real Name:
    Nathan
    Virginia has State Police, County Sheriff's, sometimes County Police and various City Police.
    Virginia State Police has jurisdiction anywhere in the state. That includes within city limits, county roads, etc.
    City police have jurisdiction within city limits.
    Every county has a Sheriff's Office, with deputies and an elected Sheriff. If the SO (Sheriff's Office) is the only presence in the county, they are responsible for law enforcement duties, as well as jail operations and county courtroom security and have jurisdiction within their respective county. That includes state highways within the county lines. If the county also has a PD (Police Department), the PD usually handle the law enforcement, while the SO handles the jail operations and county courtroom security. Don't be fooled, however, because in a county that has both a PD and a SO, a county deputy can cite you just as easily as a county policeman can. According to Virginia law they share law enforcement duties. County and city law enforcement can also share jurisdiction in unique circumstances.
    In the incorporated city of Ashland, VA there are city police, but the city resides entirely within Hanover County which only has a SO. Hanover deputies have concurrent jurisdiction in the city of Ashland with the PD.
    So, why do some counties have SO's and PD's and some only have SO's? A SO is funded through a combination of county and state funds as well as federal grants. A PD is usually funded through county funds (and federal grants) only, so there is financial incentive for county residents (read: lower taxes) to vote only to have a SO. Also, the county population must reach a certain threshold before the creation of a PD can even come to a vote.
    This reply doesn't even begin to go into other agencies like game wardens (statewide jurisdiction), Capital Police, various college PD's, airport police, railroad police, Park Rangers, State Corrections, Secret Service, FBI, DEA, ATF, HTF (jk[​IMG])
     
  14. Don Black

    Don Black Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 1998
    Messages:
    1,480
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Woah. Thanks guys. No wonder the government is so bloated. Consolidation = good.
     
  15. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 1999
    Messages:
    5,654
    Likes Received:
    32
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Pittsfield, MA
    Real Name:
    Jay
    State police sometimes serve as the "local" town police. Not every small town has or can afford to hire their own cops so it falls under the jurisdiction of the state police.

    Jay
     
  16. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    8,311
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Florida
    Real Name:
    Joseph DeMartino
     
  17. Vickie_M

    Vickie_M Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2001
    Messages:
    3,208
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  18. Jason Boucher

    Jason Boucher Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 1999
    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I heard a statistic that there are 30,000 police agencies in the U.S. (including campus police).
     
  19. Duncan Jones

    Duncan Jones Extra

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2001
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Are there still Texas Rangers? The law enforcment type I mean.
     
  20. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2000
    Messages:
    1,232
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    It really does vary from state to state on where they have jurisdiction.

    In Oregon for example a state trooper has jurisdiction over all of Oregon whether it is a state highway or a small town.

    Sherrifs are usually setup in Oregon to support State police and the other way around for the more rural areas outside of the city limits but also have jurisdiction anywhere inside the County hence why they call them (in Oregon) County Sherrifs.

    Local Police have Jurisdiction only over the city limits of where they are setup but that doesnt mean they cant pull you over outside of the limits it just means that the offense had to occur within the city limits.
    Heck we had a Law Suit over this just recently because the town I work in (Coburg) had local police that were patrolling Interstate-5 that runs parallel to the town. Well they lost when they were taken to court because I-5 wasnt considered within the city limits and that their citizens were not being protected by them patrolling the interstate. Talk about an angry group they lost a butt load of revenue from the I-5 tickets they wrote.

    KyleS
     

Share This Page