New York City Sheriff's Office
|Office of the Sheriff of the City of New York|
|Common name||New York City Sheriff's Office|
|Patch of the Office of the Sheriff of the City of New York.|
|Motto||New York's First|
|Legal personality||Governmental: Government agency|
|Operations jurisdiction*||City of New York in the state of New York, U.S.|
|Map of Office of the Sheriff of the City of New York's jurisdiction.|
|Legal jurisdiction||New York state|
|Agency executive||Edgar Domenech, Sheriff|
|County Field Offices||5|
|* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.|
The New York City Sheriff's Office, officially the Office of the Sheriff of the City of New York, is the civil law enforcement division of the New York City Department of Finance. The Sheriff's Office is headed by a sheriff, who is appointed to the position by the mayor, unlike most sheriffs in the US state of New York who are elected officials. Due to the fact that the City Sheriff serves as the sheriff for more than one county, he/she is considered a high sheriff with a subordinate undersheriff in charge of each county-borough. Deputy sheriffs of various ranks carry out the duties of the sheriff's office.
The New York City Sheriff is the chief civil law enforcement officer for the City of New York. Responsibilities of deputy sheriffs include revenue collections in civil situations; collecting funds or making arrests for parents in arrears of child-support payments; and collecting on judicial judgments, and parking or moving violations. They handle enforcement judgments for both small claims and supreme court (criminal court). Such responsibilities may involve collection of unpaid taxes, enforcement of unpaid environmental fines, seizure of property and evictions. The sheriff also may sell real estate and personal property to satisfy judgments, and perform civil arrests. The sheriff's office has also become involved with cigarette-tax enforcement as well as assisting the NYC Department of Buildings in enforcing stop work orders. In addition, the sheriff sells vehicles not recovered by their owners, checks towed vehicles to determine if they are stolen, and enforces court judgments through a variety of programs.
- 1 History
- 2 Chain of command
- 3 Diversity of work performed
- 4 Units
- 5 Power and authority
- 6 Equipment, uniforms, and vehicles
- 7 Service pistol
- 8 Fallen officers
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
The New York City Sheriff's Office originated in 1626. Each of the city's five county-boroughs had its own sheriff's office, each which held the widest law enforcement jurisdiction in its respective county-borough until the New York City consolidation in 1898. Once the city was consolidated, the New York City Police Department took over responsibility for criminal investigations throughout the entire city.
The city sheriff was reorganized as the Office of the Sheriff of the City of New York, effective 1 January 1942. The city's five county sheriffs were abolished and replaced with borough "chief deputies" (later Undersheriffs) reporting to the now mayorally-appointed city-wide sheriff. A contemporary report of the changes emphasized professionalization of the office, which had become notorious for employing political patronage beneficiaries. The new top five commanders were "all college graduates" and "lawyers like their chief, who promises to keep out politics". At the same time, the sheriff's former responsibility for running prisons was transferred to the newly established New York City Department of Correction.
Chain of command
The sheriff's office has a line and staff chain of command that is similar to that of police departments and military organizations:
|Title||Insignia||Badge Design||Uniform Shirt Color|
|Sheriff||Medallion with eagle and five stars||
|Chief Undersheriff||Medallion with eagle and four stars||
|Chief of Staff/Operations||Medallion with eagle and Four stars||
|Undersheriff||Medallion with eagle and One star||
|Lieutenant||Medallion with Rank||
|Sergeant||Shield with eagle||
The current sheriff is Edgar A. Domenech. He was appointed to the position of sheriff by mayor Michael Bloomberg in January 2011. Sheriff Domenech is a retired Deputy Director from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives after 26 years of service.
In addition to deputy sheriffs, the Sheriff's Office employs sworn investigators and security officers. As with other sworn members of city law enforcement agencies, the investigators get their powers and privileges pursuit to the New York State Criminal Procedure Law as peace officers, under one of the subdivisions of §2.10, or in the case of security officers as special patrolmen, under subdivision 27, §2.10.
The Office of the New York City Sheriff is served by a Chaplain Support Unit. The current Sheriff has appointed four Chaplains to serve the unique needs of the sworn, investigative and support staff members of the New York City Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff’s Chaplains are not deputy sheriffs but are duly authorized uniformed 'Members of the Service'. Each is a certified law enforcement Chaplain who collectively have over 100 years of combined service. Sheriff’s Chaplains have the assimilated rank of undersheriff with the chaplain’s insignia, and are outside the operational chain of command with no actual law enforcement authority. In addition to the four the Sheriff may appoint a Senior Chaplain who would wear two stars and the chaplain’s insignia. Appointment as a Chaplain or as the Senior Chaplain is subject to the needs of the office and the discretion of the Sheriff.
|Chaplain's Title||Insignia||Badge Design||Uniform Shirt Color|
|Senior Chaplain||Medallion with eagle and two stars with chaplain's insignia||
|Chaplain||Medallion with eagle and one star with chaplain's insignia||
All sworn 'Members of the Service' are vested with an authorized badge (shield) and an identification card. Sheriff's Office employees who are not sworn deputies or peace officers will also have identification cards.
Diversity of work performed
All law enforcement duties executed in the name of the sheriff are performed by deputy sheriffs and investigators. Because of the highly diverse law enforcement duties deputy sheriffs encounter, deputy sheriffs are cross trained in many areas of criminal law and civil law. The deputy sheriff can be considered the "jack of all trades" law enforcement officer. It is not unusual for a deputy sheriff to perform work similar to a police officer, correction officer, court officer, investigator, lawyer, accountant, and auctioneer all in one day. Because of the diversity in tasks a deputy sheriff must face, the requirements for deputy sheriff are one of the most stringent in comparison with other law enforcement positions available in the city and state.
In order to be hired as deputies, candidates must first pass a civil service entrance examination and meet strong educational/experiential requirements. In addition, candidates must pass medical and psychological examinations, a physical ability test, and a full background investigation.
By law, the sheriff must maintain an office in each of the five counties of New York City. Deputy sheriffs assigned to these offices perform a variety of tasks such as executing arrest process (such as warrants of arrest), orders to commit, and mental hygiene warrants. Deputies also execute eviction process, service process, and the enforcement, seizure, and sale of property pursuant to judicial mandates. The county offices function like a police precinct, giving citizens of the county a local place to file court process in need of enforcement. In addition to these services, the Sheriff's Office contains several units for specific and sometimes specialized assignments.
Deputy sheriffs assigned to this unit perform patrol functions, searching the city streets with court mandates in order to seize vehicles for unpaid parking and moving violations, and issuing summonses to vehicles in violation of New York City traffic ordinances and New York State vehicle and traffic laws. This unit provides a law enforcement presence on the city streets, and the public calls upon them to help preserve order. This assistance can include: summoning emergency medical service; preventing and terminating crimes in progress or about to be committed; and any other peacekeeping function necessary to maintain law and order.
Deputy sheriffs assigned to this unit serve legal process such as summonses and subpoenas for family court offenses as well as arresting and jailing individuals pursuant to family court warrants of arrest and commitment. In addition, the warrants unit is sometimes called upon by other units to assist in arrests of a difficult or dangerous nature.
Mental Health Enforcement Unit (aka Kendra's Unit)
This unit enforces Kendra's Law, named after Kendra Webdale, who was pushed onto the subway tracks by a mentally ill man in 1999. Kendra's law provides a procedure for the removal of a patient, subject to a court order, to a hospital for evaluation and observation. In cases where the patient fails to comply with the ordered treatment and poses risk of harm, this unit will locate, detain, and transport the patient.
Auto Theft Unit
This unit works in conjunction with the patrol unit identifying stolen cars seized by the sheriff. This unit also works closely with the various district attorney's offices in other counties outside New York City in making arrests and combating automobile theft. In 2006, the New York City Sheriff's Office recovered more stolen automobiles than any other law enforcement agency in New York State.
This unit conducts judicial sales of vehicles seized by the sheriff. Deputies maintain order at large sales where hundreds of bidders may be present, and they safeguard and protect property seized, and proceeds.
Deputy sheriffs in this unit conduct high profile investigations and property seizures under court order. Businesses and individuals that owe the city money pursuant to unpaid city tax warrants, environmental control board summons, and fire and health code violations and fines, are targeted for enforcement action by this unit.
Department of Finance - Tax Enforcement Division
The Tax Enforcement Division is a branch of the Department of Finance, working under the supervision of the Sheriff’s Office. It has an investigatory, audit and compliance function as it pertains to the tax codes of the city. It is staffed with individuals who have met and passed civil service examinations/qualifications for investigator, auditor and various other support personnel positions. Although considered its own office/division in the Department of Finance, the division reports directly to the Sheriff, as well as the Chief Undersheriff and Chief of Operations. In operational command of the unit is a sworn investigator with the title of Director of Tax Enforcement. The division is divided into two units; investigations and audits. An investigator with the rank of chief investigator supported by supervising investigators oversees the Investigations Unit. An audit manager supervises the Audit Unit. The investigators, auditors, and other staff members of this division often work alongside deputy sheriffs to enforce city tax regulations.
Deputy sheriffs are New York State peace officers authorized to make warrantless arrests, carry and use handcuffs, carry and use a firearm, use physical and deadly force, and issue summonses. Deputies have peace officer status on and off duty.
Equipment, uniforms, and vehicles
Deputy sheriffs wear a navy blue shirt, navy blue pants, and an eight-point hat when in patrol uniform. They wear a navy blue shirt, navy blue pants, a navy blue serge jacket, and a navy blue stetson when in class A uniform.
Currently, the sheriff's office vehicle fleet is made up of Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptors, Nissan Altimas and Ford Fusions, and various vans. As of November 2012, the new Sheriff's Office vehicles have a new color scheme that matches the NYPD-style vehicle design, white with blue stripes and SHERIFF in capital letters with the Department logo. They also use unmarked police cars of various models.
Since the establishment of the sheriff’s offices in the 5 counties of New York City, 6 sworn members of service have died in the line of duty.
|Officer||Department||Date of Death||Details|
|Deputy Sheriff Henry Wendelstorf||Queens County Sheriff's Department, NY||
|Sheriff Paul Stier||Queens County Sheriff's Department, NY||
|Keeper Morris Broderson||Bronx County Sheriff's Office, NY||
|Keeper Daniel D. Horgan||Bronx County Sheriff's Office, NY||
|Deputy Sheriff John T. Miller||Queens County Sheriff's Department, NY||
|Deputy Sheriff Fred D'Amore||Queens County Sheriff's Department, NY||
- New York City Department of Finance pagehttp://www.nyc.gov/html/dof/html/sheriff/sheriff.shtml
- N.Y. Constitution, Article 13, section 13. See  (pdf) at p. 41; see also  (html).
- "McCLOSKEY PICKS HIS 5 CHIEF AIDES". New York Times. 2 January 1942. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
- McKinley, Jesse. "F.Y.I.", The New York Times, November 27, 1994. Accessed January 21, 2008. "Established in 1626, the Sheriff's office in Manhattan and its equivalents in the other boroughs served as a major part of the patchwork of law-enforcement agencies that existed before the city's consolidation in 1898. After that, the new New York City Police Department took over the responsibility for criminal investigations and arrests. Prior to the merger into one department, the sheriff was responsible for maintaining the city jails and maintained custody over all inmates sentenced or awaiting trial for criminal cases. In 1941, The NYC Charter was amended by public referendum votes to transfer custodial duties of inmates in criminal cases to the New York City Department of Correction. Today, the city sheriff's primary duties are enforcing court-ordered judgments and fines, including unpaid parking tickets and littering fines, and collecting judgments from reluctant losers in private lawsuits, said John George, the Sheriff's executive assistant. "
- Edgar A. Domenech Named New York City Sheriff
- New York State Assembly bill A01525 memo
- New York City Deputy Sheriff's Association
- The Officer Down Memorial Page