Should Sheriffs Have Police Powers?

Wednesday, Sep 11, 2013  |  Updated 6:20 AM EDT
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Should Sheriffs Have Police Powers?

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What powers should county sheriffs have? Taht decision is in the hands of the courts.

The Delaware Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in an appeal by the Sussex County sheriff of a court ruling that Delaware sheriffs do not have police powers.

The hearing is set for Wednesday.

Sheriff Jeff Christopher argues that he is embodied with police powers by Delaware's constitution, which names sheriffs, along with other officials, as “conservators of the peace.”

But a Superior Court judge ruled in March that Delaware's constitution does not enumerate any powers for sheriffs, and that courts have used common law to define such powers.

The judge said the General Assembly was within its powers in passing a law last year barring sheriffs and their deputies in Delaware from making arrests.

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