Life in the Old West

True stories, tall tales, memorabilia of the American West

Posts Tagged ‘peace officers’

Sheriff or marshal – How lawmen fit together in the Old West

Monday, April 2nd, 2012:

If you’ve ever wondered why stories of the Old West speak of lawmen who are sheriffs and others speak about marshals, and in both cases the nature of the job is unclear, you’re not alone.

Although the local citizenry throughout the West understood the necessary distinctions, time has somehow blurred the lines of authority and the setup of the law in ways that might be confusing today. Modern society and modern law enforcement has its own twists and turns, yet most of us know pretty clearly who to call when we need “the police.” (You must remember, too, that there was no “9-1-1” available in the Old West; heck, even telephones were few and pretty far between.)

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