Office of Sheriff
The citizens they serve and protect elect the Sheriffs in Maryland's 23 counties and Baltimore City. Sheriffs are the only law enforcement officials in the state who answer directly to the people.
Their proud heritage of service to the people of Maryland can be traced back to 1634 when the first Sheriff's Office in America was established in St. Mary's County. Those first Sheriffs were appointed. However, since 1776, with the exception of a period between the War of 1812 and 1867, Maryland's Constitution has required that all Sheriffs be elected. In 1925, the General Assembly lengthened the Sheriff's term of office from two to four years, a change that remains in effect today.