Sheriffs Throughout History


Ancient History

The first known reference to the “sheriff” occurs in the Book of Daniel. The title began taking modern form in medieval England, where they helped maintain law and order.

On the American frontier, sheriffs helped safeguard peace in lawless territories. The Chatham County Sheriff’s Office is believed to be the oldest law enforcement agency in Georgia – established in 1732.

Modern Georgia Sheriffs

Today, Georgia sheriffs have years of law enforcement and educational experience. They are highly trained law enforcement officers with legally mandated responsibilities such as:

  • Law Enforcement: Enforcement of the criminal laws of Georgia.
  • Court Duties: Sheriffs maintain the safety and security of the court, serve court papers and perform other court-related duties.
  • Jail Administration: Sheriffs’ offices operate county jails and are solely responsible for the custody, safety and health of inmates.

Learn more about how the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association supports your sheriff.