The position of Sheriff is established by the Virginia Constitution, with the sheriff and his deputies having both civil and concurrent criminal jurisdiction countywide.
All sheriffs are responsible for civil process, jails, serving levies and holding sheriff's sales to satisfy judgements.
By law, sheriffs can enforce all the laws of the Commonwealth in the jurisdiction they serve. A sheriff is the chief law enforcement officer of a county or any area that does not have an established police department. In such areas, the Chief of Police is the highest ranking officer, such as in incorporated towns or cities.
The Sheriff's Office, in conjunction with local police departments, assist with controlling traffic, issuing traffic summonses, and working with state and local law-enforcement agencies. Additionally, sheriff's deputies aid the county police, the United States Marshals Service, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in a joint fugitive task force that provides apprehension and arrest of felons who face current warrants. Sheriffs are also solely responsible for executing detention orders for those who are ordered to receive mental health care.
Sheriffs' terms are for four years and are not term-limited. By law, sheriffs are not elected at the same time. County sheriffs are sworn into office on even-numbered years; city sheriffs are sworn into office on odd-numbered years. All deputies must be re-sworn after each election.
Deputy sheriffs are the only members of law enforcement that can be dual-certified in civil process/courts and basic law enforcement. There is no distinction made by title; all those who work for a sheriff are deputies. Police officers are prohibited from performing civil process or court duties. All deputies and police officers must meet state certification standards as set by the Department of Criminal Justice Services.
Sheriffs have complete authority to hire and fire as they see fit; deputy sheriffs serve at the sole pleasure of the sheriff. Sheriff's offices are completely funded by the state, unless a county or city wishes to supplement with funding. For example in Northern Virginia Sheriff's Offices are funded by a county or city.
Cvillepedia has articles on the sheriffs of both jurisdictions:
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|An article on Wikipedia has information about Sheriff in areas beyond Albemarle County's borders.|