|Jefferson - Birmingham Division Sheriff's Office||Birmingham||Alabama 35203||17 miles|
|Shelby County Sheriff's Office||Columbiana||Alabama 35051||25 miles|
|Bibb County Sheriff's Office||Centreville||Alabama 35042||29 miles|
|Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's Office||Tuscaloosa||Alabama 35401||33 miles|
|Walker County Sheriff's Office||Jasper||Alabama 35501||37 miles|
|Chilton County Sheriff's Office||Clanton||Alabama 35045||42 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.