The Office of Sheriff is the oldest continuing, non-military, law enforcement entity in history. The concept of sheriff began in the 6th century in England. The sheriff in the United States is elected by the people and answers only to them and the Constitutions of the State and the United States. The Sheriff is the chief law enforcement officer of the county. The sheriff can investigate cases other law enforcement agencies investigate if the sheriff believes the investigation to be improper. The Sheriff is elected by the people of the county directly and his or her authority comes directly from the people.
The Sheriff answers to the voters of the county and is responsible for the safety of all its citizens. The county commission sets the sheriff’s budget, however, the sheriff can legally spend as he or she sees fit from that point on. The Sheriff can hire, fire, promote and demote as he or she sees fit. The sheriff is not bound by municipality boundaries or in Kansas, reservation boundaries. The Sheriff does not only have law enforcement authority in the county, but has many more duties. One of which, the Sheriff is the officer of the court. The Sheriff serves all judicial processes originating from the district court of the county. The Sheriff serves civil summons, writs, subpoenas, foreclosures, and criminal process. The Sheriff is in charge of keeping the courts orderly and safe through court security.
The Sheriff is charged with selling properties that are found to be delinquent in taxes. The Sheriff is responsible for selling properties that have defaulted in paying their mortgages. The Sheriff is responsible in managing registered offenders and keeping them up to date on their appearance, place of work, place of residence and the vehicles they drive.
Also, the Sheriff is in charge of conceal and carry licensees. By statute the sheriff is the holder of all district court warrants. In Jackson County, there are approximately 1000 outstanding warrants at any time. The sheriff is also in charge of apprehending individuals who are wanted out of the district court. The sheriff on a daily basis transports wanted subjects from all over the state who have been picked up by a local law enforcement agency on a Jackson County warrant. Also, the sheriff is responsible in extraditing wanted subjects who have fled Kansas to other states. These subjects may be extradited from anywhere within the United States.
The sheriff by statute is also in charge of the jail. The sheriff is charged with seeing that inmates are safe, secure and their medical needs are being met. Running a jail is a 24 hour 7 day a week job and requires much attention to the needs of inmates as well as safety of the public. In Jackson County, the sheriff is in charge of the county wide 911 center. All 911 calls in Jackson County are answered in the sheriff’s 911 communication center. The sheriff in Jackson County also performs for convenience sake, vehicle identification number inspections. The sheriff also has authority to impound and sale livestock that are running at large.
All in all, the sheriff works directly for the citizens he or she serves. It is the sheriff’s responsibility to see that every citizen is treated fairly and equally when it comes to law enforcement. The sheriff should also work as a leader in working together with all other law enforcement agencies for the purpose of making the county as safe as possible.
The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office under the leadership of Sheriff Tim Morse continues to strive for excellence in providing competent law enforcement while at the same time holding ourselves accountable to our citizens.