The sheriff of St Clair County was established in 1821 by then territorial governor Lewis Cass.  Henry Cottrell became the first sheriff of the territory. Since then, 41 men have held the position of sheriff and scores of other men and women as deputies and employees.

The first county jail was built in 1827 by St Clair resident James Fulton. The jail was kept in St. Clair until 1871 when the county seat was changed to Port Huron. In 2006, the new 200,000 sq foot plus Correctional facility opened, housing both the adult and juvenile offenders.

Over the nearly 189 years of its existence, the men and women of the department were involved in several noteworthy instances. Several are outlined below.