III. When you attempt to make an arrest, be on your guard. Give your man no opportunity to draw a pistol. If the man is supposed to be a desperado, have your pistol in your hand or be ready to draw when you make yourself known. If he makes no resistance there will be no harm done by your precaution. My motto has always been “It is better to kill two men than to allow one to kill you.”
In those days, the sheriff worked mostly without pay. They made money by collecting rewards, working in saloons and in gambling halls to maintain the peace, serving court processes, and conducting property seizures. Often, rewards had to be posted before a sheriff or deputy would even look into a criminal case. Eventually, the circumstances changed and sheriff and deputies were paid based on the job they were assigned to do. The monthly pay was about $20 for a deputy in the jail compared to $24 for a deputy responsible for investigating crimes. The sheriff was paid $30.
Lawmen also provided their own equipment. The words “tin star” accurately describes the badge worn by those who served in the mid-1800s. Sheriffs and deputies made their own badges cut out of the lids from tin cans. As the law enforcement professional became more prosperous and finally supported by county government, badges were purchased from local badge makers.
Oldest known photo of serving sheriff and deputies including legends Robert Force and Frank Smith,circa 1870.