The County's principal peace officer is the Shelby County Sheriff, who is elected every four years. The Sheriff and the Deputies are the law enforcement for the residents of Shelby County, plus provide contract law enforcement for the Cities of Defiance, Earling, Elk Horn, Irwin, Kirkman, Panama, Portsmouth, Shelby, Tennant, and Westphalia, based on a per capita charge.
The IowaVINE system is a service through which victims of crime can use the telephone or internet to search for information regarding the custody status of their offender and to register to receive telephone and email notification when the offender's custody status changes. The toll-free number for IowaVINE is 888-7-IAVINE or 888-742-8463. This service is provided to assist victims of crime who have a right to know about their offender's custody status.