|Clay County Sheriff's Office||Spencer||Iowa 51301||16 miles|
|Buena Vista County Sheriff's Office||Storm Lake||Iowa 50588||19 miles|
|Cherokee County Sheriff's Office||Cherokee||Iowa 51012||24 miles|
|Pocahontas County Sheriff's Office||Pocahontas||Iowa 50574||27 miles|
|Palo Alto County Sheriff's Office||Emmetsburg||Iowa 50536||27 miles|
|Obrien County Sheriff's Office||Primghar||Iowa 51245||27 miles|
|Dickinson County Sheriff's Office||Spirit Lake||Iowa 51360||35 miles|
|Sac County Sheriff's Office||Sac||Iowa 50583||35 miles|
|Emmet County Sheriff's Office||Estherville||Iowa 51334||37 miles|
|Ida County Sheriff's Office||Ida Grove||Iowa 51445||43 miles|
|Calhoun County Sheriff's Office||Rockwell||Iowa 50469||44 miles|
|Osceola County Sheriff's Office||Sibley||Iowa 51249||45 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.