The sheriff is the chief law enforcement officer of the county. Primary responsibilities includes operation of county jails. The sheriff's department conducts criminal investigations, arrests offenders, serves warrants and civil papers, furnishes bailiffs for all state courts, and provides general law enforcement protection. Though the sheriff has county-wide jurisdiction, most sheriff's departments concentrate their activities outside city limits where municipal officers do not operate. In counties of less than 10,000 population, the sheriff may serve as the county tax assessor-collector.