Office of the Sheriff
In Pennsylvania, a review of statutory law provides little guidance in addressing the issue of the duties, power, and authority of the County Sheriff. However, in Pennsylvania, the Sheriff is a constitutional officer and the state constitution requires a Sheriff in each county. Case law provides that, although the Sheriff's primary responsibilities are to the courts, the Sheriff retains all arrest powers he/she had at common law, including investigation of crimes. More importantly, since the Sheriff retains all arrest powers he/she had at common law, he/she has the constitutional authority to enforce the criminal laws as well as the vehicle laws of Pennsylvania. Therefore the sheriff and his/her deputies maintain full criminal and civil jurisdiction in the county, with the authority to conduct a traffic stop, direct traffic, work vechicle crashes, serve civil process, and even arrest for any onsite crimes or violations. The sheriff may but is not required to exercise this authority in most instances.