|Caldwell County Sheriff's Office||Lenoir||North Carolina 28645|
|Burke County Sheriff's Office||Morganton||North Carolina 28655||18 miles|
|Alexander County Sheriff's Office||Taylorsville||North Carolina 28681||20 miles|
|Watauga County Sheriff's Office||Boone||North Carolina 28607||21 miles|
|Avery County Sheriff's Office||Newland||North Carolina 28657||24 miles|
|Wilkes County Sheriff's Office||Wilkesboro||North Carolina 28697||24 miles|
|Catawba County Sheriff's Office||Newton||North Carolina 28658||26 miles|
|Ashe County Sheriff's Office||Jefferson||North Carolina 28640||32 miles|
|Mcdowell County Sheriff's Office||Marion||North Carolina 28752||35 miles|
|Mitchell County Sheriff's Department||Bakersville||North Carolina 28705||35 miles|
|Lincoln County Sheriff's Office||Lincolnton||North Carolina 28092||36 miles|
|Johnson County Sheriff's Office||Mountain City||Tennessee 37683||39 miles|
|Iredell County Sheriff's Office||Statesville||North Carolina 28687||39 miles|
|Yancey County Sheriff's Office||Burnsville||North Carolina 28714||43 miles|
|Alleghany County Sheriff's Office||Sparta||North Carolina 28675||44 miles|
|Cleveland County Sheriff's Office||Shelby||North Carolina 28150||46 miles|
|Carter County Sheriff's Office||Elizabethton||Tennessee 37643||46 miles|
|Rutherford County Sheriff's Office||Rutherfordton||North Carolina 28139||47 miles|
|Yadkin County Sheriff's Office||Yadkinville||North Carolina 27055||50 miles|
|Grayson County Sheriff's Office||Independence||Virginia 24348||51 miles|
A sheriff is an elected law enforcement official who serves a specific county. Many of the responsibilities of the sheriff overlap with those of local police departments. The biggest difference is that a sheriff has jurisdiction over the entire county, while police departments can only enforce laws within city limits.
While sheriffs share law enforcement duties with city police officers, their degree of responsibility varies by jurisdiction. Municipalities with limited resources often contract law enforcement services to the sheriff, especially for complex crimes where they may not be equipped to conduct a detailed investigation.
Sheriffs tend to be more involved in cases where a suspect operates across city lines. Since they have the authority to investigate crimes and make arrests in any city in their jurisdiction, they often act as a bridge between various municipal law enforcement agencies in that jurisdiction.