Below you'll find some excerpts from "The Duties and Liabilities of Sheriffs" ©1845. These tidbits might help you in deciding who your character might be in the role of a sheriff. Please note these are the duties as spelled out for New York, other states or territories might have other qualifications or job descriptions. The excerpts below will give you a place to start.
We purpose in this chapter on the Sheriff to consider the nature of his office, the qualifications necessary for it, the mode of his election, and the general duties required of him.
In most, if not in all of the United States, the Sheriff is merely an executive officer, having, individually, no judicial authority. He presides over a jury in assessing damages upon judgments by default, but, as will be seen hereafter, he has no voice in the inquest.
Any free white male citizen of the state of New-York, who has never been convicted of any infamous crime, is eligible to the office of Sheriff. By the constitution and statutes (Const. Art. 4, § 8; 1 Rev. Stat., 2d edit., 103, § 53, 54,) of the state, the Sheriffs of the several counties are chosen by the electors in the respective counties, once in every three years, and as often as vacancies occur; and can hold no other office, and are ineligible to the same office, for the next three years after the termination of their office.
The Sheriff must be a resident of the county for which he is elected, and in which the duties of his office are required to be performed. (1 Rev. Stat., 2d edit., 93, § 17.)
"When any new Sheriff shall be elected or appointed in the place of any other, or upon the expiration of the term of any Sheriff's office, and shall have qualified and given the security required by law, the clerk of the county shall grant a certificate under his official seal that the person so appointed or elected has qualified and given such security. Upon the service of such certificate on the former Sheriff, his powers, except when otherwise expressly provided hy law shall cease. Within ten days after the service of such certificate upon such former Sheriff he shall deliver to his successor:
1 The jail, or jails if there be more than one, ef the county, with all their appurtenances, and the property of the county therein.
2. All the prisoners then confined in such jail.
3. All process, orders, rules, commitments, and all other papers or documents, authorizing, or relating to the confinement of such prisoners; and if any such process shall have been returned, a statement, in writing, of the contents thereof, and when returned.
4. All writs of capias ad respondendum and other mesne process, and all precepts and other documents for the summoning of a grand or petit jury then in his hands, or which shall not have been fully executed by him.
5. All executions, attachments, and final process, then in his hands, except such as the said former Sheriff shall have executed, or shall have begun to execute by the collection of money thereon, or by a levy on property, in pursuance thereof. At the time of such delivery the said former Sheriff shall execute an instrument reciting the property, process, documents, and prisoners delivered, specifying particularly the process or other authority by which each prisoner was committed, and is detained, and whether the same be returned or delivered to such new Sheriff; which instrument shall be delivered to such new Sheriff, who shall acknowledge in writing, upon a duplicate thereof, the receipt of the property, process, documents, and prisoners therein specified, and shall deliver such duplicate and acknowledgement to the said former Sheriff. Notwithstanding the election or appointment of a new Sheriff, the former Sheriff shall return in his own name all writs of capias ad respondendum, all other mesne process, all attachments, and all executions which he shall have fully executed, and shall proceed and complete the execution of all final process tod attachments which he shall have hegan to execute, hy a collection of money thereon, or by a levy on property in pursuance thereof. And when a Sheriff shall have arrested any person upon a capias ad respondendum, by virtue of which such person shall be confined either in jail, or on the liberties thereof, at the time of assigning and delivering such jail to the new Sheriff, if such capias be not then returned, the same shall be delivered to the new Sheriff, and shall be returned by him, at the return day thereof, with the proceedings of the former, and of the new Sheriff thereon. And if any former Sheriff shall neglect or refuse to deliver to his successor, the jail, process, documents and prisoners in his charge, as herein required, such successor may, notwithstanding, take possession of such jail, and take the custody of the prisoners therein confmed, and may compel the delivery of such process and documents in the manner prescribed (in 1 R. S., 2ded., 114,233,) for compelling delivery of papers by officers to their successors. (2RS., 2d ed., 356, § 70—76.)
Here's a link to the book for further research.