TO PROTECT, SERVE, UPHOLD AND DEFEND
Throughout America, Law Enforcement agencies have a slogan that defines the primary function the agency. Essentially, it is the goal and mission of that agency, intended to communicate to the public the intent of each officer or official charged with upholding such slogan. Nevertheless, how many people stop to think what this slogan actually means?
Across the nation, from patches to patrol cars, we mostly see the slogan “To Protect and Serve,” and in rare cases some would note “To Uphold and Defend”. These slogans hold a significant importance to the United States of America. Though Interpretation of these slogans is somewhat of a debate between the People and Government.
What are the nation’s peace officers protecting and serving? What are they upholding and defending? Whether it be a peace officer, sheriff, legislator, military member, public official or government employee; a consistency lies in the fiduciary duties of our Government officials. In the spirit of party lines, whether Republican, Democrat or third party, a consistency exists that all are charged to “Uphold, Defend, Serve and Protect” the constitutional rights of the people.
The Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association encompasses this obligation of government which is found in the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness; That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.“
Simply put, it is not the government that institutes government. Government, of right, is instituted solely by the people, that all political power is VESTED in and derived from the people. All government officials are charged, by the people, to secure the essential rights of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Pursuit of happiness is the right of a citizen to pursue an occupation – Butchers Union Co. v. Crescent City Co. 111. U.S. 746, 757. Point being that regardless of the rank of government, the fiduciary duties of all Government begins at lowest level.
Most Americans think that federal authority is ever most powerful and can usurp any governing entity below it. Though somewhat logical, that is simply a fallacy when one would consult the constitution. It is not the job of the federal government to interpose between you and the local law, it is your local government that will interpose. Is it the duty of the federal government to enforce State or County law? When we view the power structure of government in America, we find that the foundation and strength of government begins at the local level and the Federal government is very limited in its powers.
REEVE OF THE SHIRE
Early America was not forged by appealing to a centralized power figure, but was forged by an idea, local in nature, which set a brush fire of freedom in the minds of men. Considering there is nothing new under the sun; the founders had a vast comprehension as to the governments of old. Recognizing the faults pertaining to the those systems, they structured one Divine in form, which would succeed the current forms of government in which many were accustomed to around the world.
In the many stages of British law that governed the early colonies, one thing that “stuck” was the Reeve of the Shire or the Shire Reeve, known today as the Sheriff. The Sheriff has a pedigree so long it is debatable as to the exact date the office was founded in 9th century England. Making its way to America, the Sheriff held its office as the highest law enforcement officer within that county jurisdiction. This is very important considering that most all peace officers are “sworn officers”, who take oaths to support the State and U.S. Constitutions. The same oath being sworn by the sheriff when constitutionally elected to office is significant in the fact that he or she is the first line of defense in preserving the constitutional rights of a citizen.
When we look at the Office of the Sheriff, combined with the historical powers held by that office; the sheriff stands as the upholder, defender, protector and servant to the liberties of the people within the county.
In addition to upholding the law, the sheriff is also charged with upholding the supreme law, the Constitution. The law enforcement powers held by the sheriff supersede those of any agent, officer, elected official or employee from any level of government when in the jurisdiction of the county. This power even supersedes the powers of the President. Furthermore, it is this preponderant responsibility that grants a Sheriff the Constitutional authority to check and balance all levels of government within the jurisdiction of the County.
The Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association conjoins the People with Law Enforcement, educating both in an effort to restore America peacefully for our future posterity.