Oaths of Office: Sheriffs, Deputies, and Jailers (and a rant)

One of the things that I like about this blog software is that I get to see what search terms are leading readers here.  Sometimes these search terms inspire a new posting, and this is one of those instances.  I have gotten quite a few hits lately seeking information on the oath of office for Sheriffs and Deputies.  Please note that the oath is the same for Sheriffs and Deputies alike:




I, ____________ do swear that I will faithfully execute all writs, precepts and processes directed to me as Deputy Sheriff of the County, or which are directed to all Sheriffs of this State, or to any other Sheriff specially, I can lawfully execute and true returns make, and in all things well and truly, without malice or partiality, perform the duties of the office of Deputy Sheriff of Oconee County, during my continuance therein, and take only my lawful fees.

I do further swear that I am not the holder of any unaccounted for public money due this State, political subdivision or authority thereof, that I am not the holder of any office of trust under the government of the United States (except Postmaster), nor either of the several States, nor any foreign State, and that I am otherwise qualified to hold said office according to the Constitution laws of Georgia, and that I will support the Constitution of the United States and of this State.  So help me God.

Signed: …………………………………………….

Sworn to and subscribed before me, this ___  day of _____________


Sheriff, Scott R. Berry

Oconee County Georgia

Jailers also take an oath of office; so, I have included it here as well.   A Deputy Sheriff who is assigned to the jail takes the oath of office for both positions.


Oconee County Sheriff’s Office


 I, _____________,do swear that I will, well and truly do and perform, all and singular, the duties of jailer for the County of Oconee; and that I will humanely treat prisoners who may be brought to the jail of which I am keeper and not suffer them to escape by any negligence or inattention of mine, so help me God.


Signed: _____________________ Date:______________



Scott R. Berry , Sheriff

Personnel who are hired initially to work in a jail have six months from their date of employment to complete an 80 hour Basic Jail School.  In order to become a certified peace officer, those personnel must complete the 408 hour Basic Law Enforcement Training Course.  If a person is already certified as a peace officer and gets assigned to a jail, they have six months to get certified as a Jailer.

Now, for one of life’s little injustices, Deputies are eligible for the Peace Officer’s Annuity Benefit Fund (POAB).  Jailers are not.  So, a Deputy assigned to the jail is eligible for POAB, but a Jailer doing the exact same job is not.  Why?  Because the State of Georgia says so, that’s why.  It should be noted that the State has seen fit to include state correctional officers in POAB but not Jailers.


    1. My guess is simple curiosity. 2012 was an election year for all 159 Sheriffs in Georgia, and over 40 new Sheriffs were elected; so, there were lots of media stories about Sheriff’s getting sworn into office.

  1. Thanks for your reply. So you don’t think it has anything to do with people’s concern about how their Sheriffs will react if pressured by Federal officials to enforce recent legislation that appears to violate the 2nd, 4th and 5th Amendments?

    1. Based on the search terms, it appeared that the inquires were more focused on the election aspect of it, but the gun control debates may very well have been part of it as so many Sheriffs spoke out against any new laws in that regard. That is a very valid observation, and thank you for suggesting it.

  2. Chief Weem,

    I enjoyed what I have read of your blog Thus far…. On oaths, you might find it interesting that the very first federal law passed by the very first congress of the United States in 1789, (in New York city as Washington was still swamp) involved the Oath required by Art. VI Clause III of the then newly ratified Constitution.

    It was first recorded at 1 Stat. 23 (Google if you wish) that is first Statute book of the United States on page 23. It required a specifically worded Oath of all State Officials.

    The meat of this first Act of the Congress is still on the books today and is currently found at 4 U.S.C. Section 101 (for language of oath) and 4 U.S.C. Section 102 (for method of taking and recording)

    (Again you may Google both)

    A surprising number of State Officials here in Texas have not taken this oath and are arguably acting illegally in exercising the powers delegated to them by the people.

  3. The statement “so help me God” is very important. Considered the ultimate TRUTH!

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