Q Is a sheriff’s office authorized to assign uniformed, armed deputies to a full time security detail at a local, private hospital?

A No, the sheriff is authorized to assign deputies throughout the county for law enforcement purposes; however, there is no authority for the sheriff to assign a deputy to provide full-time security to a private hospital or other entity. The sheriff’s department may assign deputies to provide law enforcement at a community hospital organized under Section 41-13-10 et seq. If the sheriff’s department needs additional deputies to fulfill this need and they are not provided in the sheriff’s budget, the board of supervisors may amend the sheriff’s budget to provide the necessary funds to fulfill this task. Furthermore, a community hospital may donate funds to the county upon making the findings required in Section 41-13-38. A private hospital may be able to hire off-duty deputies as private security guards who may be authorized to wear the official uniform and utilize the official firearm while in the performance of private security services in off-duty hours pursuant to Section 17-25-11. (Attorney General’s Opinion to Hopkins, Jr., November 4, 2016)