Dodge County Sheriff Outlines Difference Between Sheriff’s Office, Department

(Juneau) The Dodge County Sheriff explains the difference between a sheriff’s office and a sheriff’s department. In his monthly column, Dale Schmidt says on the National Sheriff’s Association website, Black’s Law Dictionary defines department as “one of the major divisions of the executive branch of government, a branch or division of governmental administration.”

The dictionary defines office as “a right, and correspondent duty, to exercise public trust in office.” Schmidt says the main difference between the two is that an office has inherent common law powers and sovereignty granted under a state’s constitution or state law. A department uses its limited authority based on the state’s constitution or state statute.