Corrected entry: The sheriff gets a call at night in bed that makes him go to a store and look for his deputy, suspecting foul play and shows up completely dressed in uniform. If he suspected his deputy was in trouble, he wouldn't have taken the time to put on his uniform.
At the end of the movie, the sheriff is going home and gives his deputy and the mayor a ride home. They pass over a bridge with a sign that says 'Leaving Colusa County'. Surely they don't live outside the county?