January 31, 2012
To quote Thomas Jefferson from The Value of Constitutions; "there is no honorable law enforcement authority in Anglo-American law so ancient as that of the county sheriff whose role as a peace officer goes back at least to the time of Alfred the Great."
The Office of the Sheriff has existed for over one thousand years, and is the oldest law enforcement position in the United States. The word Sheriff is derived from the Shire-reeve, who was the most powerful English law authority figure, even before 1000 A.D. The sheriff was created because laws needed enforcing. The first transition of the English Sheriff to American soil was in Virginia in 1634.
Some people would say the Sheriff's basic mission has not changed in all this time, but today the functions of the sheriff are influenced by the social and political climates of a modern society.
As the office of the sheriff moves into the future we are faced with challenges unimagined by the sheriffs of the past. We are challenged with shrinking budgets and an ever demanding community we serve. We are faced with keeping up with technologies that are evolving with at the speed of light. We have the responsibility of recruiting, hiring and training staff to the maximum level in this litigious society.
The Kansas Sheriff's Association has enjoyed a proud history of action and accomplishment on behalf of the sheriffs of Kansas. The training offered by the Association has become paramount in raising the level of professionalism and abilities of Kansas sheriffs. The association has become the main vehicle for networking with our peers in the state when we are facing challenges in our respective communities as there is not much that comes up that another sheriff hasn't faced or is facing also.
Of course, the Kansas Sheriff's Association is only as good as the members it is made up of. I encourage you to take an active part in your association as we move forward in 2012, and beyond into the next era of law enforcement.