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Comparing sheriff's duties

Sunday, September 15, 2002

By Johnna A. Pro, Post-Gazette Staff Writer



Sheriff Pete DeFazio

SALARY: $64,000

DUTIES: Deputies serve more than 40,000 civil-court papers a year, arrest more than 2,000 people on warrants, transport prisoners to and from the courthouse, protect sequestered juries, staff satellite arrest-processing centers, and provide courtroom security. Deputies have all the powers of police officers, and thus can issue traffic tickets and assist police. The sheriff's office also handles firearm registrations and runs auctions of foreclosed-upon properties. But unlike many sheriffs, this office does not run the county jail nor conduct police patrols.

STAFF: 200

BUDGET: $10.8 million


Cleveland, Ohio

Sheriff Gerald T. McFaul

SALARY: $80,194

DUTIES: About half of McFaul's 1,100 employees are assigned to the county jail, which his office operates. The office also has a detective bureau that investigates homicides, drug offenses and other high-profile crimes, assisting local police departments. The office serves court papers, provides courtroom security, fingerprints

arrested people, and hunts down people wanted on warrants.

STAFF: 1,100

BUDGET: $65.9 million


Atlanta, Georgia

Sheriff Jacquelyn H. Barrett

SALARY: $120,000

DUTIES: Barrett is the first black female in the country elected to the position of sheriff. The department serves 816,638 people in 534 square miles. The deputies run the Fulton County Jail, provide courthouse security and court services, apprehend fugitives and oversee extraditions. The department does not conduct sales of foreclosed property or process any paperwork related to the purchase of handguns aside from background checks. The department has a crisis negotiations unit, a SWAT team, bomb squad, and protection unit.

STAFF: The office has 925 sworn deputies and 36 civilian employees.

BUDGET: $83.7 million


Minneapolis, Minn.

Sheriff Patrick D. McGowan

SALARY: $115,000

DUTIES: The Hennepin County Sheriff's Department covers 611 square miles with a population of 1.2 million people. Because of the topography, the 780-employee department has a mounted patrol and a water patrol in addition to traditional police divisions such as a detective squad, narcotics unit and canine division. The department has its own crime lab and it oper-ates a 700-bed pre-trial facility for those who have been arrested but have not yet gone to trial. On the civil side, the sheriff's deputies work for the court system serving papers, selling foreclosed property, transporting prisoners and provid-ing courtroom security. The sheriff will handle matters related to pur-chasing and licensing guns, but only in the absence of a local police chief.

STAFF: Among the staff, 360 are deputies with arrest powers. The remainder are corrections deputies or civilian staff.

BUDGET: $65 million.


Tampa, Fla.

Sheriff Cal Henderson

SALARY: $130,000

DUTIES: The office serves 660,000 residents who live in a 931 square mile area. In addition to serving the local court system, the sheriff operates three jails and provides a full range of investigative and patrol services throughout the region.

STAFF: 3,000 total which includes 1,100 sworn deputies with arrest powers; 800 detention deputies who operate the jails and 1,100 civilian employees.

BUDGET: $220 million


Kansas City, Mo.

Sheriff Thomas F. Phillips

SALARY: $65,000

DUTIES: Unlike many departments, the sheriff's office in Jackson County does not handle matters for civil court such as serving orders or overseeing foreclosure sales. The deputies do provide courtroom security and transfer prisoners. The primary responsibility of this department is to serve as the law enforcement agency in 280 square miles of unincorporated areas of the county. The department registers sex offenders, investigates crimes and has a variety of specialized units that are dispatched through a 911 system.

STAFF: Of the 130 employees, 92 are sworn deputies with arrest powers.

BUDGET: $7.9 million


Seattle, Wash.

Sheriff Dave Reichert

SALARY: $123,000

DUTIES: This department is the primary responding police agency for 570,000 people in suburban Seattle, and the deputies have investigative and arrest powers. The deputies work at the King County International Airport and serve as the police for the metropolitan transit system. In addition, the department has a SWAT team, helicopter and marine units, and a search and rescue squad. On the civil side, the deputies perform all court-related functions, with the exception of transporting prisoners.

STAFF: 700 deputies, 400 civilians

BUDGET: $92 million


Miami, Fla.

Director Carlos Alvarez

Appointed by a 13-member commission plus the mayor of Miami-Dade County.

SALARY: $196,705

DUTIES: The department serves as the law enforcement agency for 3 million people living in 2,139 square mile area. It has its own crime lab and its fleet of vehicles includes helicopters, boats and motorcycles. The department performs most civil court functions including serving all manner of court orders and providing courtroom security. The department does process firearms licenses, but it does not conduct foreclosure sales. The deputies do no transport prisoners to and from court, nor do they operate any jails.

STAFF: The department has 3,082 sworn officers with arrest powers and 1,000 civilians.

BUDGET: $400 million


Portland, Ore.

Sheriff Dan Noelle

SALARY: $110,000

DUTIES: The majority of Multnohmah County's 600,000 residents rely on this department for police services. Sheriff's deputies patrol 95 miles of county waterways, conduct major crimes investigations and participate in drug busts among other types of police work in this county that has 465 square miles. The deputies operate five jails that range from a maximum security facility to a work release center. In addition, the department serves the civil court system, issues 14,000 concealed weapons permits annually and maintains all the warrant records for the county.

STAFF: The department has nearly 1,000 employees. Of that number, about 100 are deputies with arrest powers. Between 500 and 600 are corrections deputies who have no arrest powers and the remainder are civilian employees.

BUDGET: $88 million


San Diego, Calif.

Sheriff William B. Kolender

SALARY: $165,000

DUTIES: This department answers emergency calls from 791,908 people living in a 4,200 square miles in Southern California. The sheriff not only investigates crimes, but he also oversees seven jails in his jurisdiction. His deputies, too, are responsible for tradition court-related functions such as transporting prisoners, serving papers, and processing firearms licenses.

STAFF: Of the department's 3,800 employees, 2,400 are deputies with arrest powers. The remainder hold civilian posts.

BUDGET: $357 million


St. Louis, Mo.

Sheriff Rick Wahlberg

SALARY: $88,000

DUTIES: The sheriff's department in St. Louis County covers 7,000 square miles with a population of 200,000 people. Like other sheriff's departments in the midwest and west, this department is a full-service law enforcement agency with officers who investigate crime in addition to providing service to the civil courts. The department has 111 officers with arrest powers, 65 deputies who staff the jail and 29 clerical workers.

BUDGET: $15 million

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