Sheriffs perform many of the same tasks as regular police officers. The sheriff and his office play a vital role in policing, whether it is arresting suspects, giving citations, or keeping peace in the community. Sheriffs in the United States are elected to manage the policing operations for a County, which is different from other parts of the country. This is different than a town or department.
Of all 50 US states, 48 of them have sheriffs – some commanding a very small rural population, whereas others are discharged with the responsibility of very large law enforcement agencies – such as Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department, with over 18,000 employees.
Regular officers in a Sheriff's Office are called deputies, though they may also be called sheriff's deputy and deputy sheriff. There are often 8 ranks between the deputy (or the Sheriff) and the Sheriff. Although it can be difficult to reach the top, it is possible.