Florida’s County Sheriff Office is among the oldest nonmilitary law enforcement entities in the world. The people of the state and local communities understand that the sheriff is a constitutional officer, acting independently of all other functions within the local government. The duties of the locally elected sheriff are to represent Florida’s community and guarantee the security and safety of the citizens during the four-year term.
The sheriffs are elected by the community, making every voter accountable for the future justice the authorities will provide them with. The Sheriff is obliged to maintain peace in his respective County and, for example, in case of riot, suppress it with force, as required by the law. The Sheriff election is the only level of law enforcement in the USA that allows people to have a direct say, which completely unlike other countries or even other states in which citizens report to a bureaucratic official in their State or National Police headquarters.
Florida’s Sheriff Office, as an authorized, direct representative of the people, allows each individual County to choose their own kind of law enforcement. The main point of discussion here is how the law enforcement is represented and carried out, so that there’s no abuse of power which might harm innocent citizens. Despite operating independently and being their own separate entities, Florida’s sheriffs (excluding Miami-Dade and Duval) have green uniforms and, sometimes, other attributes as their distinctive feature.
Talking about the dissimilarities in the Counties’ law enforcement, it is important to mention that sixty-six out of sixty-seven Counties in Florida have voted to have sheriffs as the main law-enforcement representatives. That is why the enforcement of the law and the formation of the authorities in most Counties follows a similar pattern for the most part. For example, in Duval County, the Sheriff’s and Police Departments are now a joint agency, called the Sheriff’s Office. As a counter-example, Miami-Dade is the county in which law enforcement is carried out separately, split between the head of the Police Department and the director of the Correction Department of the County. The position which serves as a substitution for the Sheriff is called the Director of the Police Department.