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Potter County Sheriff's Office

Gettysburg, South Dakota

Frequently Asked Questions:

What are the duties of the office of a South Dakota Sheriff?

The sheriff shall keep and preserve the peace within his county, for which purpose he is empowered to call to his aid such persons or power of his county as he may deem necessary. He must pursue and apprehend all felons, and must execute all writs, warrants, and other process from any court or magistrate which shall be directed to him by legal authority.

.It shall be the duty of the sheriff to comply with all orders of the attorney general and to see to it as far as may be possible that all the laws of this state and especially all laws relating to alcoholic beverages are faithfully enforced.

Issues state permits to carry concealed pistols.

Registers sex offenders.

Appointment and removal of deputies, jailers, and clerks.

Runs the county jail.

How do city Police and Sheriffs differ?

Aside from the obvious difference in that the Sheriff has county-wide authority and city Police are restricted to their respective municipalities, as well as (at least in our state) a Sheriff is elected and a Police Chief appointed by his mayor; a quote from Walter H. Anderson in "A Treatise on The Law of Sheriffs" in 1941 says it best:

"The Sheriff's primary obligation is to represent the sovereignty, authority and interests of the STATE in his respective jurisdiction, whereas the police department represents the interest of the LOCAL JURISDICTION.  In preserving the rights of the government, the Sheriff represents the sovereignty of the state and has no superior in his county."

Information provided on this site is accurate as of the creation date of page and pertains to South Dakota Laws only.  Your home-state laws and procedures may differ.  Check with your own local police agencies for legislative changes to laws.

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