As documented on the Durham County, N.C., website, the position of sheriff originated in England more than 1,000 years ago, known then as a shire-reeve, who was "the steward of the King's estates, guardian of the peace, judge and jury of the Shire County (county court) and was the local agent of the King in military affairs. The King also appointed him as the Chief Police Magistrate."
In the Colonies, the office of sheriff first was established in Virginia in 1634. On Oct. 9, 1662, the General Court of Virginia called Capt. Samuel Stephen "to be a Commander of the Southern Plantation" (which was actually in what later became North Carolina).
Of course, if you mention the term sheriff at the moment, most thoughts go racing to Arizona and Maricopa County's 20-year sheriff, Joe Arpaio, and his plight with the feds and fight against illegal immigration.
Regardless of the fact that there are a plethora of amazing sheriffs across the country doing incredible work subduing lawbreakers and keeping their counties clean of mischief, the mainstream media, or MSM, are working double time with the federal government to make sure that when you think of sheriffs, the picture painted in your mind is one of runaway renegades -- badged outlaws on the loose.
Despite how you feel about Sheriff Joe's personal conduct, government suspicions or the severity of criminal discipline, there is no doubt that the feds' entanglements into his affairs are a massive overreach of local and state laws and jurisdictions. It is pathetic that President Barack Obama, as well as the entire left-wing progressive establishment, is in a multimillion-dollar smear campaign to discredit and take down Sheriff Joe, as the sheriff's own re-election website proclaims, because he has "led the fight in Arizona against illegal immigration."
Rush Limbaugh was right in recently calling out the MSM's bias against Sheriff Joe in that not a single left-wing news source has reported that the sheriff has received repeated online death threats by an avid Obama supporter. But a year ago, when then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot by a madman, the MSM were quick to incriminate any right-wing sources, including polemical innuendoes on former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's and Limbaugh's websites, for contributing to the killing spree on that dark, tragic Arizona day.