However, these only make up the tip of the iceberg of the responsibilities of the Office of Sheriff. In Georgia statutes, the responsibilities of the sheriff are mentioned over 600 times. The Office of Sheriff is mandated to enforce hundreds of laws, often without additional resources. Some of these mandates include:
Of Georgia’s 159 counties, 147 maintain and operate county jails.
By virtue of their office, the sheriffs are the official jailors of the
county. They are responsible for the health, safety, and welfare of
the prisoners under their control. Sheriffs are also responsible for
protecting the rights of their prisoners.
Many do not understand the difference in a sheriff’s department and
sheriff’s office. The Office of Sheriff is a constitutional office that
holds exclusive powers and authority. It is more than another department of county government. The operations are the sole responsibility of the sheriff, not the local county government.
County department heads are subordinate to a county administrator or manager because they are a division of county government, and work for the department head and for the board of commissioners. A county department derives its limited authority from the governing body.
The sheriff derives its exclusive powers and authority from the constitution and the people who elected him. The Sheriff is not a subordinate to or an employee of a county administrator or county commission. In other words, there is no such thing as a Sheriff’s Department.
Banks County Sheriff's Office
Phone: (706) 677-2248
160 Windmill Farm Road, Homer, GA 30547
Sheriffs are mandated by law to have in place
a comprehensive plan for security of the
courthouse and all courthouse annexes. This
plan must be approved by the chief judge, and
reviewed every four years. The sheriff must
maintain the safety and security of the court
and courthouse. Not only does he provide security within the courthouse, the sheriff or his designee serves as the bailiff of the superior court, and upon request, probate court. It is the bailiff's duty to assist in maintaining order and decorum in the courtroom and to provide security and protection for jury proceedings and jury members.
The sheriff is also responsible for serving many of the summonses and civil process papers. Most civil proceedings involve disputes over property ownership or the collection of debts. The sheriff exercises a number of broad responsibilities in such cases. Service and execution of warrants is an important role of the sheriff’s office. As in medieval times, sheriffs are responsible for the collection of taxes. However, state law authorizes tax collectors and commissioners, with the written consent of their sheriffs, to act as ex-officio sheriffs. The role of ex-officio sheriffs is to collect taxes due the state and county by level and sale under a tax execution.