When it comes to law enforcement, each state has different levels.

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When it comes to law enforcement who has authority over a sheriff?

In Texas, the level of law enforcement is:

Old Texas ranger cowboy badge in black and white.
  • Texas Rangers
    • Highest Level of Texas Law Enforcement
    • Division of the Texas Department of Public Safety
    • Conduct criminal and special investigations
    • Apprehending wanted felons
    • Suppressing major disturbances
    • Protecting life and property
    • Assisting local law enforcement in suppressing crime and violence
    • Investigating major crimes, cold cases, public corruption, fatal police shootings, and alleged misconduct on the part of other law enforcement
    • Oversee the department's border security and tactical and crisis negotiation programs
    • Disrupting criminal activity associated with drug cartels
Police Respond To Hostage Situation At Texas Synagogue
Getty Images
  • Texas Department of Public Safety State Troopers/Highway Patrol (jurisdiction is Texas)
    • Enforce state traffic laws and issue citations.
    • Arrest drunk drivers, wanted felons, and other criminals, especially during enforcement blitzes.
    • Respond, investigate, and report traffic accidents in rural areas.
    • Provide security to the state capitol complex and governor.
    • Inspect commercial vehicles for load and driver fatigue violations.
    • Assist other DPS divisions with felony investigations, such as narcotics smuggling.
    • Educate citizens on traffic safety practices such as child safety seats and proper vehicle maintenance.
    • Provide statewide criminal law enforcement, especially in rural areas where local police are limited.
    • Participate in selective specialized units, such as regional SWAT teams, marine patrol, and dive recovery.
Aaron Savage, Townsquare Media
Aaron Savage, Townsquare Media
  •  Sheriffs (jurisdiction in county where elected)
    • Elected official - one for each county in Texas
      • may appoint deputies and jailers
    • License peace officer -enforces criminal laws of the state
    • manages and operates the county jail
    • apprehends criminals
    • Court security
    • Serves Warrants and other papers
    • Regulates bail bondsmen in areas with no bail bond board
TSM Amarillo
TSM Amarillo
  • Police (jurisdiction in the city where employed)
    • Chief of police appointed by city municipality or governing board
    • jurisdiction only in the city they serve
    • enforce state criminal and traffic laws and other ordinances of the city they serve
    • serve arrest warrants and may act as bailiffs
Aaron Savage, Townsquare Media
Aaron Savage, Townsquare Media
  • Constables (jurisdictions in their elected precincts)
    • Elected officials - an office created by the Texas Constitution - 4-year term
    • Only one per precinct
    • Licensed peace officers - various functions including traffic citations
    • Serves warrants and civil papers
    • Bailiffs for Justice of the Peace

These agencies work together to ensure our communities and states are safe.

In the instances of a sheriff and jurisdiction, the only way a sheriff can become a sheriff is to be elected.  In order to remove a sheriff from their position, the district court has to be petitioned and approved by a district judge.  After, the sheriff in question will have to go through a jury trial to determine if they should be removed.

When it comes to the FBI, can they take over local or state jurisdiction?

According to the FBI, State and local law enforcement agencies are not subordinate to the FBI, and the FBI does not supervise or take over their investigations. Instead, the investigative resources of the FBI and state and local agencies are often pooled in a common effort to investigate and solve the cases. In fact, many task forces composed of FBI agents and state and local officers have been formed to locate fugitives and to address severe threats like terrorism and street violence.

Each agency is set up to take care of its certain area, so in theory, no law enforcement agency is greater.  However, if someone needs to step in that would be the Texas Rangers.

In Texas, the Texas Rangers reign supreme.

LOOK: 12 Unsolved Homicides by the Texas Rangers

The Texas Rangers currently have 12 homicides that have gone cold and have not been solved or the suspect apprehended. These cases stem back to 1978.

If you have any information regarding any of the homicides below you are encouraged to call Texas Crimestoppers at 1-800-252-TIPS (8477) or you can submit a tip online here.

Gallery Credit: Lori Crofford/TSM Amarillo

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