Sheriffs of America have played a significant role in the history of
our Nation, and the Sheriffs of Ohio are no exception to this heritage.
A brief study of the history of Ohio reveals that Ohio Sheriffs have
contributed greatly to the development of the Buckeye State.
Ohio achieved statehood in 1803, the position of Sheriff was filled
through appointments made at the pleasure of the Colonial Governor.
The first Sheriff on the record in Ohio was Colonel Ebenezer Sproat.
At the time he was appointed in 1788, Colonel Sproat's jurisdiction
covered all of Washington County. This enormous area of land included
all of eastern Ohio from the Ohio River to Lake Erie.
statehood became a reality, only three public offices in Ohio were filled
through the electoral process system. The position of Sheriff was one
of them. Through this new system, William Skinner became the first elected
Sheriff in the Buckeye State. Since the early 1800's, Ohio Sheriffs
have been elected on the county level by the people they serve. By virtue
of this process, this office has become the oldest law enforcement position
in the United States. It is also the only remaining law enforcement
office which is filled through the election method. The term of office
for County Sheriffs in Ohio is four years.
each of the 88 counties of Ohio, the Sheriff is the chief law enforcement
officer. His primary duties are to provide common pleas court services
and corrections on a countywide basis, and full police protection to
the unincorporated areas of the county. However, he also maintains full
police jurisdiction in all municipalities, townships, and villages.
In an effort to become consistent on a statewide level, Ohio Sheriffs
and Deputies wear a standardized uniform, and all patrol vehicles are
marked in the same manner.
Ohio, Sheriff's Offices have probably one of the most extensive sets
of responsibilities to those they serve. By statute they must provide
Security and Service of Papers