WILIMINGTON, Del. (AP)- County sheriffs in Delaware don't have the legal authority to make arrests.
That's according to an opinion Friday from the state attorney general's office, which also urged lawmakers to clarify the issue.
Sussex Sheriff Jeff Christopher had argued that sheriffs were essentially "peace officers" under state law and therefore had the power of arrest. Christopher had ordered his deputies to stop dangerous drivers and execute arrest warrants. But the opinion issued Friday notes that since sheriffs and their deputies don't attend the state police training academy, they're not expected to enforce the laws.
Christopher said that the nonbinding opinion was not a surprise.
He says he believes the sheriff's office was originally intended to enforce laws on a county level