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History of the Sheriff's Office

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     I want to talk about the history of the Office of Sheriff and its role in our democracy. The Office of Sheriff is the oldest and most historic law enforcement agency in the history of the world. The Sheriff’s Office can be traced back over 1,000 years to early England. It was here under King Alfred the Great in the year 871 that you can find the early development of the Sheriff’s Office.

     During the reign of Alfred the Great a new unit of government was created known as the “shire”. The shire was the forerunner of the modern day “county”. Each “shire” was led by a “reeve” (chief). It was the responsibility of the “shire-reeve” to maintain law and order within his own “shire” (county). In those early days there were no police, no judges, no magistrates, etc…the “shire-reeve” (Sheriff) did everything. He had the power to arrest, raise armies, collect taxes, preside over courts, deal with traitors, and do everything on the King’s behalf.

     In the battle of Hastings in 1066 the Saxon King Harold was defeated by the Normans. The Normans centralized power under the King and it was the Sheriff who became the enforcer of the law throughout the Kingdom. Even after the despotic King John was forced to sign the Magna Carta restoring basic rights and freedoms in England, the Office of Sheriff maintained its critical importance as keeper of the peace. It should be noted that the role of Sheriff is mentioned nine times in the Magna Carta.

     As English settlers came to the New World the Office of Sheriff traveled with them. When the first colonies were established in Virginia in 1634 one of their first actions was to elect a Sheriff. Thomas Jefferson in his work called “The Value of the Constitutions” stated that “the Office of Sheriff is the most important of all executive offices in the county.” It was at this time the Office of Sheriff was the very first County Office created in the United States.

     During the 1700’s and 1800’s American Sheriffs were given a broad range of responsibilities by colonial and state legislatures. Among the duties included maintaining jails and workhouses. The enforcement of law, maintenance of the peace, and the handling of criminals throughout the judicial process were the responsibilities of the Sheriff. As westward expansion evolved it was the Sheriff who was needed to establish order in the lawless territories where the fastest gun often ruled. It was during this time that many categorized the Sheriffs into two categories; the quick, and the dead. The icons of western lore such as Bat Masterson and Wyatt Earp immortalized the Sheriff’s Office in history and legend.

     Today there are over 3,000 counties in the United States. The Office of Sheriff remains as the only law enforcement officer in the land who is elected by the people and not appointed by a governmental body. For this special distinction, the Sheriff is often referred to as the “people’s lawman.” It is the Sheriff who answers directly to the people who elect him/her into office rather than the “government.” This distinction is just as important today as it was in 1634. This is a responsibility and an honor that I do not take lightly. I am proud to be your elected Sheriff and can assure you that I and the members of the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office will always strive to perform their duties with integrity and honor and always maintain their service to you as our #1 priority.

~Sheriff Craig DuMond

 

Meet the Sheriff

     Sheriff Craig DuMond is a life-long resident of the Delaware County Town of Masonville. Upon graduating from Sidney High School, he initiated his law enforcement career as a Military Police Officer in the United States Army and was stationed in Germany as well as the States of Alabama and Maryland. After being honorably discharged from military service, Sheriff DuMond returned home and became employed as a Correctional Officer by the NYS Division for Youth as well as a Police Officer for the Village of Walton. Over the next 22 years he ascended through the ranks with NYS DFY, and ultimately served as a Juvenile Correctional Facility Director; all while continuing to serve as a Police Officer for the Village of Walton.

     In 2006, Sheriff DuMond was elected Supervisor for the Town of Masonville where he also served as a Legislator on the Delaware County Board of Supervisors and Chairman of the Public Safety Committee. In 2012 he was appointed Undersheriff by Sheriff Tom Mills and became directly responsible for the executive oversight and supervision of the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office to include the Law Enforcement, Criminal investigations, Civil Enforcement and Jail Operation Divisions accordingly.

     In 2017, he became acting Sheriff and was subsequently elected Sheriff of Delaware County in 2018. During the election, Sheriff DuMond was endorsed by both major political parties; a distinction for which he is proud as he believes the Office of Sheriff should never be politicized. During his tenure at the Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff DuMond has been responsible for the creation of the K9 Division, Mounted Equine Division, School Resource Officer Program and Special Response Team. He is the Chairman of the Delaware County Drug Task Force and an active member of the New York State and National Sheriff’s Associations; serving on various committees in both organizations.

     Entering his 32nd year in law enforcement, Sheriff DuMond has furthered his education at SUNY Empire State College as well as completed numerous law enforcement and executive-level training programs; to include graduating from the 115th session of the National Sheriff’s Institute Executive Development Program as well as the NYS Governor’s Office of Employee Relations Executive Management Development Program. Further, prior to being elected, Sheriff DuMond was selected to attend the 272nd Session of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy, however, declined the nomination due to his newly assumed duties as Sheriff of Delaware County.

     Sheriff DuMond and his wife, Karleen, have (4) sons; two serving in the United States Armed Forces and (2) currently attending school.