Q: If a sheriff receives a complaint from a resident of a municipality within the county that they are a victim of a crime, can the sheriff take over the investigation, even though it has been initially reported to the municipal police department?

A: It is within the discretion of a sheriff to investigate state law felonies and misdemeanors committed within a municipality located within his or her county. Ideally the sheriff and the municipal police department will cooperate in the investigation of crimes committed within municipal jurisdiction. However, the sheriff has the ultimate discretion to exercise his or her county-wide jurisdiction independently of municipal forces. (Attorney General's Opinion to Riegel dated December 19, 2008)