God Bless our #GoodPolice but the #BadCops Have 2 Go!
Nowhere has the Legislature indicated that the sheriff's powers and duties are limited to the unincorporated areas of the county. Nor is there any statutory language from which such a limitation might be inferred. We note, in addition, that the sheriff at common law was the chief law enforcement officer of the county, and that the office of sheriff retains its common law powers and duties unless modified by the constitution or statutes. 70 Am. Jur. 2dSheriffs, Police, and Constables § 2 (1987); seeState ex rel. Johnston v. Melton, 192 Wash. 379, 388-89, 73 P.2d 1334 (1937); AGO 51-53 No. 322 at 2. We thus conclude that the sheriff has a general duty to enforce state law in both unincorporated and incorporated areas of the county. "the jurisdiction of the sheriff in law enforcement matters normally extends throughout his county including the incorporated areas thereof." [The sheriff's] authority is county wide. He is not restricted by municipal limits. For better protection and for the enforcement of local ordinance[s] the [[Orig. Op. Page 4]] cities and towns have their police departments or their town marshals. Even the state has its highway patrol. Still the authority of the sheriff with his correlative duty remains.