If a Martian landed in a Western county, he wouldn’t ask to see the head of the state police or the county manager. He’d demand to speak to the sheriff.
In the West and throughout the United States, the sheriff is an enduring symbol of power. He runs law enforcement in his county, and he won’t let anyone mess with him, let alone bureaucrats.
It may work that way in some places, but not in most of the counties in northern New Mexico.