The Val Verde County Sheriff’s Office is inviting local individuals and businesses to join a state-wide association supporting law enforcement in Texas.

Responding to the increasing number of people wanting to assist law enforcement officials and build a stronger partnership in the fight against crime, Sheriff Joe Frank Martinez announced that Val Verde county citizens are being invited to become Associate Members of the Sheriffs’ Association of Texas.

Membership appeals are being mailed out. Both individuals and businesses choosing to join the voluntary program can do so for a fee, Martinez said in a press release.

The funding provides critically important technical resources, training, and legislative support on key criminal justice issues.

Contributions are tax-deductible, and unlike other organizations in our state, the Membership Program does not solicit membership by telephone.

“With government funding becoming increasingly difficult to secure, the membership drive has taken on greater importance than ever before,” Martinez said. “The funding is vital to helping us carry out our mission of making our communities safer places to live, work and play.”

The program is committed to its “No Telemarketing” policy and only sends invitations to citizens to become members by mail. Individuals that do not receive a membership appeal and would like more information can do so by contacting the Sheriffs’ Association of Texas; 1601

S. Interstate 35; Austin, Texas 78741-2503 Phone: (512) 445 5888. Information is also available online, www.txsheriffs.org.

The membership program was formed to provide citizens with an opportunity to lend their support to more effective law enforcement and to help local law enforcement officers protect the lives and property of citizens.

“As the need for building stronger public-private law enforcement partnerships in this country continues to escalate, programs such as this continue to grow in importance,” Martinez said. “I encourage everyone receiving a membership appeal to consider joining forces with us by becoming an Associate Member. It is a valuable investment in the future.”

The Sheriffs’ Association of Texas is one of the oldest law enforcement associations in the nation. The association met for the first time on August 14, 1874, in the courthouse in Corsicana, Navarro County, Texas. The meeting was called to order by Sul Ross, Sheriff of McLennan County, who later became a notable part of Texas history.

The Sheriffs began annual training conferences in 1878. These training conferences today are the largest composite gathering of law enforcement officers in Texas. Sheriffs and other county and local law enforcement officers, federal and state officers, and major industry security personnel attend.

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