A History of the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office

The Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office was founded in 1789 and remains the longest tenured law enforcement agency in the county. Soon after the United States and Great Britain ended the Revolutionary War, Sheriff James Morrison assumed office in January of 1789.

The current Sheriff, Kevin M. Kraus has served Allegheny County since 2014 as Chief Deputy and then was elected to office in January 2022 as Sheriff.

Prior to Kraus, William P. Mullen served Allegheny County since 2006 and was elected and re-elected in 2006, 2009, 2013, and 2017. Prior to his service at the county-level, Mullen spent thirty-seven years with the City of Pittsburgh Police. Mullen ended his time with the City of Pittsburgh as the Deputy Chief, second in command.

The Sheriff’s Office remains the most diverse office in the state, as Allegheny County Sheriff’s Deputies are the only deputies in the state with police powers. As of 2020, the office is organized into three branches: Civil, Courts, and Investigations. Additionally, Administration, Crime Prevention, K9 Unit, Police Academy and Reserves are directly overseen by the Chief Deputy John A. Kearney, like the three aforementioned branches. In total, the office employs 160+ Sheriff’s Deputies and 30+ civilians.

The Civil Division is divided into seven subdivisions (Civil ProcessEvidence, Firearms, Real Estate, Transportation, Warrants, and Writs) and is overseen by one commander, one lieutenant and three sergeants.

The Courts Division is divided into six subdivisions (Civil Court, Criminal Court, Family Court, Juvenile Court, Municipal Court, Orphans Court, and Prisoner Hospital Watch) and is overseen by one commander, two lieutenants, and eight sergeants.

The Investigations Division is divided into eight subdivisions (two criminal fugitive squads, non-support fugitive squad, crime prevention, K9 unit, uniformed deputies, housing warrants, and task forces) and is overseen by one commander, one lieutenant and three sergeants. The nine task force deputies are designated to the following agencies:

 Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms & Explosives (ATF)
 Allegheny County District Attorney (DA)
 Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)
 Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
 United States Marshals Service, Western District of PA (USMS)

A History of the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office

The Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office was founded in 1789 and remains the longest tenured law enforcement agency in the county. Soon after the United States and Great Britain ended the Revolutionary War, Sheriff James Morrison assumed office in January of 1789.

The current Sheriff, Kevin M. Kraus has served Allegheny County since 2014 as Chief Deputy and then was elected to office in January 2022 as Sheriff.

Prior to Kraus, William P. Mullen served Allegheny County since 2006 and was elected and re-elected in 2006, 2009, 2013, and 2017. Prior to his service at the county-level, Mullen spent thirty-seven years with the City of Pittsburgh Police. Mullen ended his time with the City of Pittsburgh as the Deputy Chief, second in command.

The Sheriff’s Office remains the most diverse office in the state, as Allegheny County Sheriff’s Deputies are the only deputies in the state with police powers. As of 2020, the office is organized into three branches: Civil, Courts, and Investigations. Additionally, Administration, Crime Prevention, K9 Unit, Police Academy and Reserves are directly overseen by the Chief Deputy John A. Kearney, like the three aforementioned branches. In total, the office employs 160+ Sheriff’s Deputies and 30+ civilians.

The Civil Division is divided into seven subdivisions (Civil ProcessEvidence, Firearms, Real Estate, Transportation, Warrants, and Writs) and is overseen by one commander, one lieutenant and three sergeants.

The Courts Division is divided into six subdivisions (Civil Court, Criminal Court, Family Court, Juvenile Court, Municipal Court, Orphans Court, and Prisoner Hospital Watch) and is overseen by one commander, two lieutenants, and eight sergeants.

The Investigations Division is divided into eight subdivisions (two criminal fugitive squads, non-support fugitive squad, crime prevention, K9 unit, uniformed deputies, housing warrants, and task forces) and is overseen by one commander, one lieutenant and three sergeants. The nine task force deputies are designated to the following agencies:

 Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms & Explosives (ATF)
 Allegheny County District Attorney (DA)
 Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)
 Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
 United States Marshals Service, Western District of PA (USMS)

In Remembrance...

In two hundred-plus years of existence, the Sheriff’s Office has lost seven Sheriff’s Deputies in the line of duty:

  • Deputy Sheriff Pliny D. Wells,
    • 06/20/1838 – Stabbed
  • Deputy Sheriff Harry H. Exle,
    • 08/22/1909 – Gunfire
  • Deputy Sheriff J. Davis,
    • 01/28/1913 – Stabbed
  • Deputy Sheriff Frank X. Mooney,
    • 05/19/1923 – Gunfire
  • Deputy Sheriff Meyer Van Lewen,
    • 07/19/1924 – Gunfire
  • Deputy Sheriff Edward M. Butko, Jr.,
    • 09/29/1983 – Vehicle Crash
  • Sergeant James R. Milcarek, Sr.,
    • 11/18/1983 – Vehicle Crash

History of Sheriff's

2022
2006
1997
1970
1954
1951
1946
1944
1942
1938
1932
1930
1926
1922
1918
1914
1910
1906
1904
1900
1896
1894
1890
1888
1884
1882
1879
1876
1873
1870
1867
1864
1861
1857
1856
1852
1850
1846
1843
1840
1837
1834
1831
1828
1825
1822
1819
1816
1809
1804
1798
1795
1792
1789