The role of sheriff dates back to the ninth century in England, making it the oldest continuing, non-military law enforcement entity in history. The sheriff’s office emerged in the United States in 1776 when Pennsylvania and New Jersey adopted the Office of Sheriff in their constitution, leading to a time in the old west when the badge and a cowboy hat could be found patrolling towns across the country, searching for cattle thieves, collecting taxes, maintaining jails, and breaking up saloon brawls.
The role of the sheriff evolved as populations exploded and other law enforcement agencies were developed, but some parts of the job remain the same. Some sheriffs, such as Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler, with his broad stature and western attire, could step back in time and be right in place with the very first sheriffs who graced our great country. Instead, he serves as sheriff in a modern age, with a goal of preserving the past and protecting the farmers, ranchers and others living in rural areas. He has served in multiple roles during his 54-year law enforcement career, including working as a United States Marshal, before returning to his roots in Parker County to become sheriff in 2005.
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