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Election 2008: The job - Newton sheriff

The sheriff of Newton County is elected every four years. Current Sheriff Joe Nichols has served three terms and is not seeking re-election.

The position has an annual starting salary of $78,247 with an additional $3,400 in supplemental salary paid by the court system. The salary is based on county population and increases are given with longevity.

The sheriff is not only charged with public safety for the county, but is also responsible for administrative and budgeting procedures, maintaining the jail, providing services to the court such as serving warrants and courthouse safety and maintaining the county's sex offender registry.

The NCSO employs 247 full-time staff.