(AFP) -- Sheriff Jeff Christopher
of Sussex County, Delaware, when he was elected to the office in 2010,
thought he was handpicked by the people to represent them as the highest-ranking
law officer in the county. Instead, he has found himself in the middle
of a fight for the future of American law enforcement as a result of
a nationwide effort to abolish the sheriff’s office altogether.
It is one more example of federal and state governments ignoring the
will of the people as well state laws. In the case of Delaware, the
state’s own constitution stipulates that the office of the sheriff
is a constitutionally created position just like the secretary of state
and the attorney general. Delaware’s Constitution states: “The sheriffs
shall be conservators of the peace within the counties . . . in which
This time it is Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, son of Vice President
Joe Biden, sending out mandates to commissioners informing them that
their sheriffs no longer have arrest powers. In an opinion released
Feb. 24, State Solicitor L.W. Lewis said that neither the state nor
the common law grants arrest powers to the county sheriffs.
It would appear that Lewis is a little confused. The office of sheriff
was created more than a century before the official founding of the
United States. Delaware’s first sheriff took office in 1669.
Christopher tells AFP that the two administrations prior to his—as far
back as 2000—began to notice a reduction in funding and the chipping
away of powers of the office in general.
“Now my deputies and I have been relieved of all arrest powers and can’t
even make a traffic stop,” he said. “Delaware has only three counties.
. . The other two sheriffs . . . will not stand up with me” to prevent
the elimination of county law enforcement, he said.
During an interview at the Las Vegas Sheriffs Conference in January,
Christopher told AFP that the impotence of his office was brought home
to him when he was hit in the eye and kicked by County Councilman Vance
Phillips but was unable to arrest him.
Beau Biden’s questionable ruling against the longtime tradition of the
sheriff being the highest ranking law enforcement officer in the county
because of election by the people means the state’s usurpation of the
office appears to be a forthcoming fact.
County spokesman Chip Guy announced, “The opinion from the attorney
general’s office reinforces what has long been the position of the county
[that] Delaware sheriffs and their deputies do not have arrest powers
and are not in the same vein as state police or municipal officers.”
Pat Shannan is a contributing editor of American Free Press. He is also
the author of several videos and books including One in a Million: An
IRS Travesty, I Rode With Tupper and Everything They* Ever Told Me Was
a Lie. All are available from FIRST AMENDMENT BOOKS. Call 1-888-699-6397
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