Description of Office

The sheriff is the chief law enforcement officer in the county and has a range of duties that include criminal investigations, traffic enforcement, and operation of the jail, including the safekeeping of inmates and operation of the jail commissary.  The sheriff also provides security for the courthouse, including  the county and district courts, assists with service of subpoena and other process and accepts bail for prisoners in his custody. In a county without a Bail Bond Board, the Sheriff sets bail bond policy for the county. Finally, the sheriff may conduct sales of forfeited property, property being sold at auction for failure to pay property taxes and property sold to satisfy judgments in civil cases.
As with all elected county officials, the sheriff has ultimate authority over the operations of the office, including the authority to hire and fire personnel and direct their daily activities. The sheriff also has authority to determine how to use all other resources allocated to the office during the budget process.
For more complete information about the duties of a county sheriff and other county officials, click here.

Education Requirements

Coordinating body
Texas Commission on Law Enforcement
6330 U.S. Highway 290 East, Suite 200
Austin, Texas 78723
TCOLE hours
(512) 936-7700
Texas Commission on Law Enforcement is the permanent contact for TCOLE hours.
TCOLE Requirements
Continuing Education Deadlines for all Peace Officer Licensees
Commission Rule 217.11 Legislatively Required Continuing Education for Licensees requires that individuals licensed as peace officers complete 40 hours of training in each of the two 24-month units of the current (four-year) training cycle, which began Sep. 1, 2005, and will end on Aug. 31, 2009. Included within the 40-hour requirement are other legislatively required topics. These requirements are listed below for your information. All peace officers must meet these requirements or their peace officer licenses will become inactive Aug. 31, 2009.
Legislatively required continuing education requirements for the current training cycle for peace officers are as follows:
Course Topics​ Course Topics​ Deadline​
​Special Investigative Topics  3232 or 3737​ 08/31/13​
Cultural Diversity​ 3939 or 3737​ 08/31/13​
Crisis Intervention Training   ​ 3840, 3841, 4001​ varies*​
  *Note the above courses are mandatory, but can be used as part of the 40 hours required in either unit
Requirement​ Time Frame​
40 hours in the first unit - any topic(s)​ 09/01/05 - 08/31/11​
40 hours in the second unit - any topic(s)​ 09/01/07 - 08/31/13​
Constables and Deputy Constables
Constables and deputy constables are also required to have the 20-hour civil process course (3101 or 3131) as part of the above requirements, but their  deadlines vary and some waivers apply
Individuals who possess (only) licenses as jailers, reserves, and/or public security officers are required to have Cultural Diversity (3939) completed no later than August 31, 2009, or their licenses will become inactive.
Recent Academy Graduates: If your basic peace officer academy included 16 hours of CIT training, your academy training coordinator needs to submit a roster of course numbers 3842, with zero hours, marked to indicate completion of the CIT requirement. (The zero-hour listing indicates that you have already received credit for the hours within the BPOC, while the course number indicates that the CIT course requirement has been met.)
All other Peace Officers: If you were licensed on or after Sep. 1, 2003, you must complete this requirement prior to applying for an intermediate or advanced certificate, or by August 31, 2007, whichever is earlier. If you were licensed prior to Sep. 1, 2003, you must complete this requirements prior to applying for an intermediate or advanced certificate, or by August 31, 2009, whichever is earlier.
All Peace Officers must complete this training before Sept. 1, 2009.
Programs that qualify
Any approved by TCOLE.
Filing for credit
Rosters are available at approved courses or academics. Make sure your name is on the roster. The rosters are returned to TCOLE at the end of the training and entered into the sheriff's records.
Continuing education requirements
TCOLE may require any sheriff who is not a commissioned peace officer to attend up to 40 hours of education within two to four years of taking office.
Per 2013 Texas Senate Bill No. 686, Texas Eighty-Third Legislature
Legal source
Local Government Code, Section 85.0025

Open Government Training Information

Elected and appointed public officials are required by a state law to receive training in Texas open government laws. For more information on this training including free video training courses, check out The Office of the Attorney General website.

County Official Organizations

The Texas Association of Counties serves as the umbrella organization for various independent county official organizations in Texas. These organizations serve as an important resource for county officials for information, networking and advocacy.  Learn more about organizations' websites that provide information on annual conference dates, leadership information and more.