The department of law enforcement shall consist of the attorney for the Commonwealth, chief of police, and sheriff, together with their assistants, police officers, deputies and employees. If a department of public safety is created, the chief of police, his police officers and employees shall be a part of such department as hereinafter provided.The attorney for the Commonwealth shall exercise the powers conferred and perform the duties imposed upon such officer by general law and shall be accountable to the board in all matters affecting the county and shall perform such duties, consistent with his office, as the board directs. He shall be selected as provided by general law.The department of law enforcement may also include a county attorney to be appointed by the board upon the recommendation of the county executive and who shall serve at an annual salary to be set by the board. If a county attorney is appointed, the attorney for the Commonwealth shall be relieved of the duties of advising the board, of drafting or preparing county ordinances, and of defending or bringing civil actions in which the county or any of its officials is a party. All such duties shall be performed by the county attorney, who shall be accountable to the board in all such matters.The sheriff shall exercise the powers conferred and perform all the duties imposed upon sheriffs by general law except as herein provided. He shall have the custody, feeding and care of all prisoners confined in the county jail. He shall perform such other duties as the board may impose upon him. The sheriff shall be selected as provided by general law. The sheriff and such other deputies and assistants appointed hereunder shall receive such compensation as the board prescribes. Any police officer appointed by the urban county executive or the board shall be under the supervision and control of the board unless such supervision and control are conferred upon the urban county executive. Such police officer shall have such powers as may be provided by general law throughout the county, including all towns therein.
Code 1950, § 15-384.56; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-769; 1966, c. 464; 1968, c. 797; 1978, c. 558; 1997, c. 587.