Peter Jones: The unique role of sheriff in Hampshire County

  • Top view of businessman working at his desk. Modern workplace with laptop, smartphone, diary and coffee cup. jacoblund

Published: 8/30/2022 2:27:51 PM
Modified: 8/30/2022 2:24:11 PM

Less than 50 years ago, John Boyle was the sheriff of Hampshire County. Sheriff Boyle lived at the Union Street jail in Northampton and ran the jail. His deputies served summonses to court and found people on the street to fill the jury pools.

The sheriff also performed ceremonial functions — bearing the mace at Smith College commencements and leading parades, dressed in his top hat, tailcoat, and gold waistcoat. He was the face of Hampshire County.

Since then, our county government was abolished and the state government assumed control over the courts and corrections. The sheriff became just another state employee, although an important one. Running the former county jail and house of correction, overseeing prisoner rehabilitation, serving legal process, executing evictions – these are all important jobs.

The sheriff is the only official elected by the citizens of Hampshire County, and only by the citizens of Hampshire County. It is more important than ever that the sheriff continue to represent Hampshire County at its public events.

As far as I know, none of the current candidates for sheriff has even mentioned this issue.

Peter Jones


Sign up for our free email updates
Daily Hampshire Gazette Headlines
Daily Hampshire Gazette Contests & Promotions
Daily Hampshire Gazette Evening Top Reads
Daily Hampshire Gazette Breaking News
Daily Hampshire Gazette Obits
Daily Hampshire Gazette Sports
Daily Hampshire Gazette PM Updates
Daily Hampshire Gazette Weekly Top Stories
Daily Hampshire Gazette Valley Advocate


Support Local Journalism

Subscribe to the Daily Hampshire Gazette, your leading source for news in the Pioneer Valley.

Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

115 Conz Street
Northampton, MA 01061


Copyright © 2021 by H.S. Gere & Sons, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy