The Book of Daniel recounts the presence of the sheriff at the setting up of the golden image (c. 600 B.C.) by the Chaldean king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar:
"... Nebuchadnezzar the king sent to gather the princes, the governors, and the captain, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up."
Historian W.A. Morris in his book on the Medieval English Sheriff to 1300 makes these observations:
"The Office Of Sheriff is one of the most familiar and most useful to be found in the history of English institutions. With the single exception of kingship, no secular dignity now known to English speaking people is older. The functions, status, and powers of the office, like those of kingship itself, have undergone change, but for nine centuries it has maintained a continuous existence and preserves its distinguished features."
Apparently when the first counties were established in Virginia in 1634, the Office of Sheriff was officially transplanted to the North American continent. There is record of a sheriff being chosen by popular vote as early as 1651, but appointment was at that time apparently the rule.
The Office of Sheriff in Georgia is considered to be both a constitutional and a county office. The constitutionality of the office stems from the common law, from the constitutional provisions extended to certain offices in existence when the first Georgia Constitution was ratified, and because the sheriff is listed in the Georgia Constitution of 1983 as one of four independently elected county officers.
Our modern day sheriff's office is much more complex than in ancient or colonial times. The office carries much more responsibility and is much more accountable to the citizens in the county. The Crawford County Sheriff's Office has a long history of service which has evolved into several divisions which perform specific functions within the county. The administrative, communication, detention, patrol, civil, and investigation divisions all perform specific functions within the sheriff's office and are essential in its operation.