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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.
    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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    Clay County Sheriffs Office
    212 Blanding Blvd, Orange Park, FL 32073
    (904) 213-6600
    Clay County Sheriffs Office
    901 N Orange Ave, Green Cove Springs, FL 32043
    (904) 284-0739
    Bradford Cty Sheriff Dept
    606 Edwards Rd, Starke, FL 32091
    (904) 964-9201
    Sheriff's Office
    945 N Temple Ave, Starke, FL 32091
    (904) 966-2276
    Jacksonville City Sheriffs Office
    725 Flora Branch Blvd, Saint Johns, FL 32259
    (904) 287-9238
    Julington Creek Annex
    725 Flora Branch Blvd, Saint Johns, FL 32259
    (904) 287-5025
    Jacksonville City Sheriffs Office
    501 E Bay St, Jacksonville, FL 32202
    (904) 630-7542
    Jacksonville City Sheriffs Office
    500 E Adams St, Jacksonville, FL 32202
    (904) 630-5843
    Jacksonville City Sheriffs Office
    220 Bay St, Jacksonville, FL 32202
    (904) 630-5818
    Baker County
    339 E Macclenny Ave, Macclenny, FL 32063
    (904) 259-4705
    Jacksonville Sheriff Office
    711 N Liberty St Ste B, Jacksonville, FL 32202
    (904) 358-3678
    Baker County
    55 N 3rd St, Macclenny, FL 32063
    (904) 259-3613
    Putnam County Sheriffs Office
    1100 Reid St, Palatka, FL 32177
    (386) 329-0864
    Jacksonville City Sheriffs Office
    936 Dunn Ave, Jacksonville, FL 32218
    (904) 630-0805
    Union County Jail
    50 Nw 1st St, Lake Butler, FL 32054
    (386) 496-2501

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