Sheriff Schmidt Explains Source of Office Powers

(Juneau) Not too many people know that there is a difference between a county sheriff’s office and a county sheriff’s department. There are many differences, including where their power of authority comes from. Dodge County Sheriff Dale Schmidt explains.
“The Office of Sheriff is unique in that, again it was created by the constitution. The powers of the sheriff cannot be taken away by the state legislature or the board, county board,” Schmidt says. “The sheriff has constitutional protections or responsibilities they have to require or have to fulfill. How’s that different from the police chief? Well, the police chief derives his power from the city council, the police and fire commission. The boss is the mayor.”
Schmidt says that his boss is the sheriff, who is elected in or out of office every four years by the citizens of Dodge County. However, he says that there is a collaboration between the county administrator, county board and himself when it comes to certain matters.
“Certainly, there is a collaborative effort that needs to take place between myself and the county administrator, and the county board to pass a budget because they do have the power of the person, the county board,” says Schmidt. “But once that budget is passed, it becomes the sheriff’s budget to fulfill the office of sheriff as the sheriff sees fit.”
In addition, Schmidt says that his job is to answer to the citizens of Dodge County and not the county administrator or the county board.