Sheriff Dave Ernest is the chief law enforcement officer in Boone County. As Sheriff of Boone County, Sheriff Ernest is responsible for the operation of the largest law enforcement agency in the Boone County. The most fundamental function of this department is to protect the lives and property of the citizens of Boone County. The Sheriff is charged with the constitutional and statutory responsibilities of enforcing federal and state laws, as well as local county ordinances within the unincorporated areas of the county.
Although the sheriff may enforce laws within the entire county, by professional courtesy and policy, he does not do so within individual municipalities, villages, or towns which have their own respective law enforcement agency, unless he is requested by federal or state authorities, or the authorities of any such community.The position of Sheriff is an elected office, with a four year term.
The Boone County Sheriff's Department is housed in Public Safety Building in Belvidere, a facility they share with the Belvidere Police Department. This combined facility allows each department complete autonomy and independence to operate, yet allows for the inter-governmental and inter-departmental cooperation and assistance that is the hallmark of Boone County. This cooperation has proved itself time and again as a great benefit to the taxpayers of Belvidere and Boone County in cost savings and rapid response capabilities.