Duties of Oklahoma Sheriffs

The office of Sheriff is the only law enforcement office directly accountable to the people, the ultimate authority in a democracy. Theirs is an elected position; this makes them unique among other law enforcement. With the position of Sheriff comes a tremendous amount of responsibility that many citizens of Oklahoma do not realize. In many cases the Sheriff will have to operate their office and the jail on a budget that is not fully funded by the taxes of the county. The Sheriff will have to supplement their budget by civil service processes or by seeking grants for equipment and vehicles. They will have to protect hundreds of square miles with a minimal amount of deputies and patrol vehicles. The Sheriff will have to deal with overcrowded and, in some cases, antiquated jails. The Sheriff must be a professional law enforcement officer with a deep desire to serve the citizens in their county.

Patrol Services

Oklahoma is a rural state consisting of hundreds of square miles and rural roads that are patrolled by the Sheriff’s office. The Sheriff will be called upon to assist many smaller communities and cities with law enforcement. They are often called upon to provide security and crowd control at special events in the county.


The Sheriff is responsible for coordinating and administering courthouse security.


The Sheriff shall have charge and custody of the jail in his county and all of the prisoners. They must provide the meals, medical care and general welfare for the prisoners.


The Sheriff is responsible for providing or acquiring all state-mandated continuing education hours required for themselves, deputies and detention officers.


The Sheriff is responsible for transporting inmates to court, medical facilities, Department of Corrections, mental health facilities, and juvenile facilities. The Sheriff is also responsible for extraditions of inmates from across the country.

Civil Process

The Sheriff is responsible for serving warrants, subpoenas, and civil lawsuits. The Sheriff is also responsible for evictions, seizure of property and the disposition of property through Sheriff’s sales.

County Buildings

The Sheriff is responsible for annually inspecting all county buildings and making a report to the board of county commissioners.


The Sheriff is responsible for collecting, boarding and the disposition of any abandoned livestock.