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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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    Metropolitan Government of Nashville & Davidson Co
    506 2nd Ave N, Nashville, TN 37201
    (615) 862-8226
    Metropolitan Government of Nashville & Davidson Co
    222 3rd Ave N, Nashville, TN 37201
    (615) 862-6640
    Metropolitan Government of Nashville & Davidson Co
    404 James Robertson Pkwy, Nashville, TN 37219
    (615) 862-6195
    Sumner County Government
    117 W Smith St, Gallatin, TN 37066
    (615) 451-2409
    Robertson County Sheriff's Off
    509 S Brown St, Springfield, TN 37172
    (615) 255-9890
    Cheatham County
    100 Public Sq Ste 223, Ashland City, TN 37015
    (615) 792-4866
    Cheatham County Sheriff Criminal Investigative Div
    199 Court St, Ashland City, TN 37015
    (615) 792-2021
    Wilson County of
    105 E High St Ste 201, Lebanon, TN 37087
    (615) 444-9537
    Sheriff's Office
    203 E Kentucky St, Franklin, KY 42134
    (270) 586-7425
    Rutherford County Sheriffs Office
    940 New Salem Hwy, Murfreesboro, TN 37129
    (615) 898-7770
    Trousdale County
    315 E Main St, Hartsville, TN 37074
    (615) 374-2114
    Trousdale County
    210 Broadway, Hartsville, TN 37074
    (615) 374-2461
    Williamson County Government
    135 4th Ave S, Franklin, TN 37064
    (615) 790-5426
    Montgomery County of
    120 Commerce St, Clarksville, TN 37040
    (931) 648-5778
    Montgomery County of
    1221 Highway Dr, Clarksville, TN 37040
    (931) 920-1875


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