Sheriffs Office History
One of the earliest mentions of Sheriff is found in the Holy Bible, with the position acting as supervisors for King Nebuchadnezzar. From there, the responsibilities of Sheriffs carried over to England when King Aflred the Great divided the land into “Shires” and appointed “Rieves” to oversee them. Eventually shortened to “Sheriff” the early days required them to be chief administrators of the law, assembling armies, apprehend offenders, and raise “hue and cry.”
The Office of the Sheriff made its way into the Constitution of the new state of North Carolina in 1776. The Sheriff was an officer of the court, collector of public taxes and private levies, keeper of prisons and public hangman.
Although the modern day Sheriff may not have quite the same responsibilities as did the early King appointed Shire Rieves, he or she still holds the position of the People’s Chief Law Enforcement Officer in the county, elected by the people for four year terms. The duties have greatly expanded beyond simply peace keeping and enforcing the orders of the court.