|Watauga County Sheriff's Office||Boone||North Carolina 28607|
|Avery County Sheriff's Office||Newland||North Carolina 28657||16 miles|
|Johnson County Sheriff's Office||Mountain City||Tennessee 37683||17 miles|
|Ashe County Sheriff's Office||Jefferson||North Carolina 28640||19 miles|
|Caldwell County Sheriff's Office||Lenoir||North Carolina 28645||25 miles|
|Carter County Sheriff's Office||Elizabethton||Tennessee 37643||29 miles|
|Mitchell County Sheriff's Department||Bakersville||North Carolina 28705||29 miles|
|Wilkes County Sheriff's Office||Wilkesboro||North Carolina 28697||31 miles|
|Burke County Sheriff's Office||Morganton||North Carolina 28655||36 miles|
|Bristol County Sheriff's Office||Bristol||Virginia 24201||36 miles|
|Alexander County Sheriff's Office||Taylorsville||North Carolina 28681||37 miles|
|Washington County Sheriff's Office||Abingdon||Virginia 24210||37 miles|
|Alleghany County Sheriff's Office||Sparta||North Carolina 28675||38 miles|
|Yancey County Sheriff's Office||Burnsville||North Carolina 28714||40 miles|
|Unicoi County Sheriff's Office||Erwin||Tennessee 37650||40 miles|
|Sullivan County Sheriff's Office||Blountville||Tennessee 37617||40 miles|
|Grayson County Sheriff's Office||Independence||Virginia 24348||41 miles|
|Smyth County Sheriff's Office||Marion||Virginia 24354||43 miles|
|Washington County Sheriff's Office||Jonesborough||Tennessee 37659||43 miles|
|Mcdowell County Sheriff's Office||Marion||North Carolina 28752||43 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.