County Sheriff Qualifications
Oklahoma State Statutes-19-510 and 70-3311
19-510 County Sheriff – Qualifications.
Any person, otherwise qualified, who has been a resident of the State of Oklahoma for two (2) years, has been a registered voter of the party whose nomination he or she seeks, or a registered Independent, within the county from which such person seeks election for the six (6) months next preceding the first day of the filing period, is at least twenty-five (25) years of age next preceding the date of filing for office, possesses at least a high school education and has served as a duly certified peace officer, in a full-time capacity, for a period of four (4) years or more prior to the date of filing for the office of county sheriff, shall be eligible to hold the office of county sheriff or to file therefor. Within twelve (12) months of taking office, all newly elected or appointed sheriffs shall complete a sheriff’s administrative school which has been developed by the Oklahoma Sheriffs’ Association and which has been approved by the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET). Failure to complete the sheriff’s administrative school within the specified period shall preclude the new sheriff from obtaining CLEET certification. New sheriffs with prior CLEET certification, who fail to attend the sheriff’s administrative school, shall have their CLEET certification revoked. Provided, however, the provisions of this section relating to qualifications shall not apply to any person serving as a county sheriff or to any person previously serving as county sheriff prior to the adoption of this statute.
For purposes of this section, “peace officer” shall mean a full-time duly appointed or elected officer who is paid for working more than twenty-five (25) hours per week and whose duties are to preserve the public peace, protect life and property, prevent crime, serve warrants, and enforce state, federal or military laws and local ordinances of this state or any political subdivision thereof.
Links to Statutory References
Duties of Oklahoma Sheriffs
The office of Sheriff is the only law enforcement office directly accountable to the people, the ultimate authority in a democracy. It is an elected position this makes them unique among other law enforcement. With the position of Sheriff comes a tremendous amount of responsibility that many citizens of Oklahoma do not realize. In many cases, they will have to operate their office and the jail on a budget that is not fully funded by the taxes of the county. They will have to supplement their budget by civil service processes, seeking grants for equipment and vehicles. They will have to protect hundreds of square miles with a minimal amount of deputies and patrol vehicles. The Sheriff will have to deal with overcrowded and some cases antiquated jails. The Sheriff must be a professional law enforcement officer with a deep desire to serve those citizens in his county.
Oklahoma is a rural state consisting of hundreds of square miles and rural roads that are patrolled by the Sheriff’s office. The Sheriff will be called upon to assist many smaller communities and cities with law enforcement. they are often called upon to provide security and crowd control at special events in the county.
The Sheriff is responsible for coordinating and administering courthouse security.
The Sheriff shall have charge and custody of the jail in their county and all of the prisoners. They must provide the meals, medical and general welfare of those prisoners.
The Sheriff is responsible for providing or acquiring all state-mandated continuing education hours required for themselves, deputies and detention officers.
The Sheriff is responsible for transporting inmates to court, medical facilities, Department of Corrections, mental health facilities, juvenile facilities. The Sheriff is also responsible for extraditions of inmates from across the country.
The Sheriff is responsible for serving warrants, subpoenas, civil lawsuits. the Sheriff is also responsible for evictions, seizure of property and the disposition of property through Sheriffs sales.
The Sheriff is responsible for collecting, boarding, and the disposition of any abandoned livestock.