Sheriff’s job description

Sunday, April 11, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 1:54 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

Ted Boehm has been in law enforcement for 35 years. He’s been the Boone County sheriff for 20 of those years, longer than any other sheriff in the county’s history.

But this year, Boehm has decided not to run for re-election.

“I feel it’s time to step aside and let someone younger and someone with different ideas have their turn at it,” Boehm said.

Officially, the job of sheriff, which carries a paycheck of a little more than $100,000 a year, includes providing law enforcement services to the county and operating the Boone County Jail. To Boehm, the job of sheriff also requires certain qualities, such as:

  • Knowledge of the law. People around the county are so aware of their rights and the sheriff’s responsibility to them, Boehm said, that, “You have to have a pretty good handle on the law. You don’t necessarily have to know how to go out on the street and enforce the law, but you have to have a pretty good idea about how to sit down and discuss it with the lawyers and your employees.”
  • Ability to listen to people and represent the department. “You have to be a No. 1 listener because they all have their own concerns,” he said. “You have to be a very good representative because that’s what you’re doing when you’re going to the Boone County Commission to lobby for salary and benefit increases and other budget matters.”
  • Willingness to communicate with other agencies. “Communications has been proven so beneficial to the department and to the people,” he said. “When departments can sit down and work together, it’s so much easier.”
  • Awareness of needs at the jail. “The jail is something that just doesn’t go to sleep,” he said. “We have people in custody who are either being bonded out or being booked or being disruptive in the jail or need medication in jail. (With) the law enforcement side of the job, at least there are certain times of the day the criminal element takes a rest.”

But most important, Boehm said, a sheriff must have a high standard of integrity.

“You have to constantly gauge your integrity. It has to be on the high side of the scale every day you get up and go to work.”

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