What is the role of the Sheriff's Office?

People ask me frequently how is the Sheriff’s office different from my local police department.  Traditionally the Sheriff’s office has been responsible for security at the Courts, Jails and responding to any water related incidents.  In addition the Sheriff’s office provides patrol services for Greenfield, Hanover Medicine Lake, Rockford, Hennepin County Home School, county jail, Fort Snelling, 133rd Minnesota Air National Guard, 934th U.S. Air Force Air Wing, and U.S. Marine Corp/Navy Reserves. 

Although these have been the traditional tasks, per state statute the sheriff is the highest law enforcement officer in the county in which they serve and are responsible for the safety and security of the entire county.  In other words when any city abdicates their responsibility to keep their citizens safe, then the Sheriff has every right to move in and provide the law enforcement services those citizens deserve.  In addition as these criminals move across city lines throughout the County the sheriff’s office is more nimble and flexible to follow them and arrest them.