Fresno County Sheriff's Office
The Sheriff executes warrants of arrest when issued by judges or magistrates. An order for the commitment of a defendant by the court is directed to the Sheriff, who must detain the defendant until the defendant is legally discharged. If the defendant escapes, the Sheriff is empowered to take all necessary steps to apprehend them, including breaking doors and windows of dwelling houses.
When a judgment of death is rendered by the court, the warrant for execution is drawn and delivered to the Sheriff. In accordance with the law of 1891 the Sheriff is to deliver the defendant to the Warden of a State Prison for the execution which is carried out within the walls of the Prison in the presence of and under the direction of the Warden. Prior to 1891, those sentenced to death were executed within the walls of the County Jail in the presence of, and under the direction of the Sheriff.
- Executes all processes and orders of the court addressed to the Sheriff
- Executes writs of attachment and safely keeps all defendant's property not exempt from execution
- In some civil actions, levies and seizes defendant property liable to execution, real and personal, and sells it at auction to satisfy judgments
- Keeps and manages the county jail and confines in the jail—males and females separately—persons who have been:
- Committed by criminal process and detained for trial
- Convicted of crimes and held under sentence
- Detained as witnesses
- Held under civil process or an order imposing contempt punishment
Under the county budget law, the Sheriff submits a yearly statement of estimated receipts and expenditures of the office to the county auditor. Prior to 1952, the Fresno County Sheriff could keep fees paid for service of civil papers and warrants—and could keep any remainder of a flat rate received per prisoner in the jail. This was changed; now the Sheriff turns all monies over to the county general fund and receives a flat salary determined by the Board of Supervisors.
The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office is divided into nine bureaus to facilitate the functional responsibility and tasks facing it. The Sheriff is the department head and is responsible to the people of the County of Fresno. Every four years they must answer for their actions, decisions, and level of services performed while in office. The Sheriff is bound by the limitations of the budget set by the Board of Supervisors, but must meet obligations under the oath of office. If one of the deputies performs below standards or fails to meet the demands their position, the Sheriff must accept responsibility for the failure when facing the electorate at the end the term of office.