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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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    Fresno County-Comm
    30691 E Kings Canyon Rd, Squaw Valley, CA 93675
    (559) 332-2226
    Fresno Sheriffs Office
    1755 N Gateway Blvd, Fresno, CA 93727
    (559) 492-1315
    Fresno County Sheriffs Office
    33155 Auberry Rd, Auberry, CA 93602
    (559) 855-4904
    Fresno County
    1225 M St, Fresno, CA 93721
    (559) 488-6826
    Fresno County Sheriffs Office
    2200 Fresno St, Fresno, CA 93721
    (559) 600-8400
    Tulare County of
    36000 Road 112, Visalia, CA 93291
    (559) 735-1931
    Mountain Government Center
    40601 Road 274, Bass Lake, CA 93604
    (209) 999-9999
    Tulare County Sheriffs General Information
    5961 S Mooney Blvd, Visalia, CA 93277
    (559) 624-7000
    Kings County Sheriffs Office
    1444 W Lacey Blvd, Hanford, CA 93230
    (559) 852-2899
    Madera County
    14143 Road 28, Madera, CA 93638
    (559) 658-2555
    Mariposa County Sheriffs Office
    5379 State Highway 49 N, Mariposa, CA 95338
    (209) 966-3616
    Mono County of Sheriff
    3609 Crowley Lake Dr, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546
    (760) 935-4066
    Merced County Sheriffs Office
    700 W 22nd St, Merced, CA 95340
    (209) 385-7444
    Merced County Health Department
    260 E 15th St, Merced, CA 95341
    (209) 384-1593
    Mariposa County Sheriffs Department Satellite Offi
    10549 Fiske Rd, Coulterville, CA 95311
    (209) 878-0702


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