The Office of the Sheriff of the City of New York was created in 1626. The modern office was established on January 1, 1942. This abolished the five county sheriff offices. Their functions, powers and duties, except the custody and transport of criminal prisoners, were incorporated into the City Sheriff.

In order to be appointed as deputies, candidates must first pass a civil service entrance examination which is given by the New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services every four to five years. Candidates must meet strong educational/experiential requirements. Candidates must also pass medical and psychological examinations, physical agility tests (the cooper standard), and a full background investigation.

The Deputy Sheriffs’ Association is the labor union and benevolent association which represents deputy sheriffs’, sergeants, lieutenants, and undersheriffs’. The primary functions of the association are to negotiate labor contracts with the city, handle labor disputes, provide its membership with optical, dental and life insurance, as well as to promote the best interests for all of its membership. The day to day operations of the organization are managed by the executive board composed of three vice presidents (one to represent each rank), the secretary, the treasurer, and the president.