The main difference between a police officer and a deputy sheriff is that of jurisdiction. A police office is responsible for the city he or she is currently posted at. On the other hand, a sheriff is generally responsible for the state as a whole and their jurisdiction, unlike that of a police officer extends to the whole state. However, according to laws, any citizen can make an arrest under certain circumstances, even if he or she is a civilian. Thus, if a police officer spots a crime taking place outside the city limits, or even in some other state, they are allowed to perform an arrest.
As mentioned before, a police officer is mainly responsible for the crimes taking place in the city. Their routine duties include that of patrolling, making arrests, issuing tickets, and occasionally testifying in court against criminals. Sometimes they are required to investigate on some small cases that haven’t yet been passed on to other law enforcement agencies. Other times they are required to provide back up and respond to calls when agencies like the FBI need help.
As for a deputy sheriff, the duties vary from state to state. They are primarily required to maintain county jails and look after their security with the help of correctional officers. Other than that, they are also responsible court security. They also have a lot of clerical duties like issuing warrants. Other than these duties, their job profile is largely similar to that of a police officer, except they are responsible for the whole county.
The average salaries of both police officers and deputy sheriffs are almost the same. Police officers get paid a small fraction more than deputy officers. But both their salaries depend on the population they serve. The range is about $27000 for a population under 10,000 people and can go as high as $73000 for a population of over 1 million people. Thus, it stands to reason, the size of a city or county is a major factor in deciding the pay of any peace officer.
Both the sheriff’s department and the police department undergo the same training from the agency. Training consists mostly of some hours spent in the academy and then field training which basically involves learning on the job. Sheriffs undergo about 890 hours of training while police officers need to undergo about 920 hours of training.
Hopefully, this article helped you understand the difference between a deputy sheriff and a police officer. Now you too can go and debate about it with a friend or understand the movies better when the sheriff takes over the case from a police officer. If you were thinking about either of these as a career path, you should be able to make an informed decision now. So, go ahead, and help maintain peace in this society!