Friday, February 12, 2010
The Unique Constitutional Foundation of the Office of County Sheriff in America.
by Sheriff Mike Raines
Hello, I am Mike Raines, I serve as Sheriff to the good people of Eaton County, Michigan. I am proud of her rich history and I take my role as her Chief Law Enforcement Officer and Constitutional Defender very seriously. ALL Sheriff's, under Article VI, Paragraph-3 are duty-bound through Oath Affermation to 'Protect,Defend and Support the Constitution of these United States. This makes American Sheriffs very unique as Law Enforcers in our Constitutional Republic. The word Sheriff dirives from two seperate words from 11th Century England, those being Shire and Reeve. The King, wishing to ensure 'domestic tranquility,' would often appoint a person referred to as a Reeve to the various Shires (equivenant to Counties in America); over time the two words blended together to form tthe word Shiriff. The root-word origon of our Sheriff is where the similarities end however. Because where the English Shire Reeve was appointed by the King and obligated to loyally inforce the Kings dictates, our American Sheriff's are Elected by the People and subject to the Laws specified in our Constitution, which they're obligated by oath to abide-by and defend.
Anyone who has taken the time to read and study the history of our Constitution understands that the minds of the men who wrote it were brilliant. The framers were men who knew full well the meaning of tyranny and they were passionate to not allow the new republic to be susceptable to it. The framers established the Constitution as the very foundation of our Republic and the means by which, through its checks and balances, the various branches of government were to operate and draw their specified and limited authority. Whereas the English Monarchy was based upon the King being the ultimate authority, which in the latin is referred to as Rex Lex, or 'The KING is the Law,' they all wished to do what had never been done in the history of mankind and turn that concept on its head wherein 'The LAW is King,' or Lex Rex. Each knew all to well the currupting nature of un-checked power and also, that the federal government would be more apt to attempt to over-reach its powers then would any of the individual states. For this reason they reserved a vast majority of power to the states, giving only those specifically enumerated as such to the federal government.
Whereas the chiefs and directors of municipal, state and federal law enforcement agencies are either hired or political appointees, only the American Sheriff is elected. As such, he or she are directly answerable to the people who elected them. And as they swore an oath to do, their first and foremost responsibility is to protect and serve the people of their county and abide by and defend our Constitution. In this regard, the duties of the Sheriff are both noble and challenging.
I encourage every American who hasn't already done so, secure a copy of our United States Constitution. Read it thoroughly and become familar with its amazing wisdom, as well as how its system of checks and ballances operate. American Citizenship and Freedom was paid for with the Blood of far too many to be taken for granted. If you don't know your Constitution, you will not be able to see when it's being ignored or subverted. Commit this accronym to memory: FRVC, or 'Freedom Requires Vigialant Citizens.'
Mike Raines, Sheriff
Eaton County, Michigan