Historically, the sheriffs have the power to "deputize" private citizens in fighting crime and keeping law and order.
I think a powerful case could be made that the best return on investment in these times for our political efforts might be that expended in electing constitutional sheriffs. They are the leaders on the front line. If push comes to shove, this means...
I wish FReepers would stop posting that nonsense about the county sheriff being the most powerful law enforcement, blah blah.
One more time, for the record: Like the office of the governor, the power of the sheriff is derived from the state constitution. Some states have governors with strong executive powers, and some states do not. Likewise, some states grant sheriffs broad powers, and some states don’t. Some states like CT, and AK don’t even provide for the office of sheriff. In some states the sheriff is just a job that is filled and vacated by hiring and firing not an elected official. Some states grant the office broad law enforcement powers, others relegate them to process servers, and a handful use them exclusively as jailers.