​What is the Difference Between Sheriff, Police and Constable in Texas?

Sheriffs and deputy sheriffs, patrol officers, and constables and deputy constables are all peace officers licensed by the state of Texas and have certain powers of arrest throughout the submit .
Most wear distinctive uniforms or badges, drive intelligibly marked patrol vehicles and often perform similar job functions, but there are several differences, besides. many of these differences involve :

  • Their primary jurisdictional boundaries
  • The primary funding source for their particular agency
  • Distinct differences in their duties as designated by the Texas Legislature.


A sheriff is a peace policeman who holds public agency ; the voters in each county elect their sheriff once every four years .
The Texas Constitution mandates that one sheriff exist for each of the 254 Texas counties. Each sheriff has countywide jurisdiction. Sheriffs may appoint deputies and jailers to assist in the perform of their duties.

By codified, sheriffs ’ duties include :

  • Serves as a licensed peace officer and is responsible for enforcing the criminal laws of the state
  • Manages and operates the county jail
  • Provides security for the courts
  • Serves warrants and civil papers
  • Regulates bail bondsmen in counties with no bail bond board.
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In addition, the sheriff transports prisoners to local anesthetic courts from throughout the United States, transports juvenile offenders and mental health detainees throughout Texas, rounds up estrayed livestock in the county and performs many other duties .
The sheriff ’ s office is funded by local anesthetic tax dollars administered by county commissioners court .


A municipality may create and fund a police department but it is not required by law to do indeed. If created, the police legal power extends merely within the boundaries of the municipality they serve .
A headman of police is not elected. Either the municipality ’ second governing board or the city director hires the head of patrol and determines the distance of their stay, a well as how many extra patrol officers to hire.

Police officers may enforce state condemnable and dealings laws and local ordinances adopted within their jurisdiction. Police serve arrest warrants and as bailiff for the municipal woo. Police are not required to keep a imprison but may operate a municipal imprison for housing misdemeanor violators or detainees awaiting remove to the county jail .
Police officers do not have responsibility for transporting prisoners, serving civil action, rounding up estrays or conducting many of the other duties designated to sheriffs .

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Constables are besides peace officers whose offices were created by the Texas Constitution. They are elected to function once every four years. A county may have multiple constables but entirely one per precinct. The voters who reside within a particular precinct of the county elects the constable for that precinct and that constable ’ mho primary jurisdiction is the geographic boundaries of that precinct .
Constables may appoint deputies who are peace officers to assist in performing their duties .
By codified, constables duties include :

  • Serves as a licensed peace officer and performs various law enforcement functions, including issuing traffic citations
  • Serves warrants and civil papers such as subpoenas and temporary restraining orders
  • Serves as bailiff for Justice of the Peace Court.

Like the sheriff, the constable ’ south position is funded from local tax dollars administered by the county commissioners woo .

Jurisdictional Overlap

Jurisdictional overlap occurs between county sheriff ’ sulfur offices, municipal patrol departments and county constables ampere well as with the state highway patrol and state park rangers and the union law enforcement agencies. These department of state and federal agencies frequently cooperate but each may investigate a criminal matter that occurs within their jurisdiction .

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