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Law Enforcement Terms for the Law Abiding Citizen

For most citizens, almost everything they know about their local law enforcement officers comes from television. But even if you follow the letter of the law, knowing who's out there protecting the streets and what their specific responsibilities are is a good thing. What follows are a few terms that can help the average person sort out the shades of blue in the law enforcement community.

  • Jail - Differs from prison in one significant manner, not every inmate has necessarily been convicted of a crime. Some inmates who have been arrested and charged with a crime, but are unable to come up with bail, may await their trial in jail. Once a person is convicted of a serious crime, they are usually sent to a state or federal prison.
  • County Sheriff - Generally the top law enforcement official at the county level. Sheriffs are generally elected officials and may or may not have any previous criminal justice experience. In many sparsely populated areas the Sheriff's department serves as the local police force.
  • Criminal History Check - Because all adult arrests are a matter of public record, any citizen can access them. Most police and sheriff’s departments will, for a fee, print out a list of arrests and convictions for any individual.
  • Felony - Any crime that carries a minimum one year sentence is usually considered a felony. The consequences of a felony conviction are more severe than a misdemeanor.
  • Misdemeanor - Crimes that carry a minimum sentence of less than a year. That sentence is usually carried out in the county jail rather than a state or Federal prison.
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    National Sheriffs' Association
    Alexandria, VA 22314
    Since 1940, the National Sheriffs' Association has been dedicated to serving the community and establishing public safety through law enforcement. Providing security on a national, state and local level.
     
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    Otter Tail County Fergus Falls
    417 S Court St, Fergus Falls, MN 56537
    (218) 998-8555
    Saint Louis County Sheriffs Office-Administration
    5735 Old Miller Trunk Hwy, Duluth, MN 55811
    (218) 625-3960
    Dakota County Sheriff
    1580 Highway 55, Hastings, MN 55033
    (651) 438-4730
    Sheriff's Office
    200 2nd Ave Se, Waseca, MN 56093
    (507) 835-0505
    Le Sueur County Sheriffs Office
    88 S Park Ave, Le Center, MN 56057
    (507) 357-8245
    Redwood County Redwood Falls
    303 E 3rd St, Redwood Falls, MN 56283
    (507) 637-4036
    Cottonwood County
    902 5th Ave Ste 2, Windom, MN 56101
    (507) 832-8255
    Braham Police Department
    509 18th Ave Sw, Cambridge, MN 55008
    (763) 689-2141
    Kanabec County
    18 Vine St N, Mora, MN 55051
    (320) 679-6440
    Carver County Sheriffs Office
    606 E 4th St, Chaska, MN 55318
    (952) 361-1281
    Otter Tail County
    469 W Main St, Ottertail, MN 56571
    (218) 367-6300
    County Government Offices Sheriff
    1810 12th Ave E, Hibbing, MN 55746
    (218) 262-0238
    Yellow Medicine County
    930 4th St Ste 4, Granite Falls, MN 56241
    (320) 564-4924
    St Louis County Offices Hibbing
    1810 12th Ave E, Hibbing, MN 55746
    (218) 262-0201
    Carver County
    600 E 4th St, Chaska, MN 55318
    (952) 361-1500


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