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Alabama Sheriffs Association completes Winter Conference

Sheriffs participating in the conference were given the opportunity to explore the latest technology innovations.

Alabama Sheriffs Association

The Alabama Sheriffs Association, a nonprofit instituted in 1889 to encourage educational, social, and charitable activities among sheriffs, recently completed its 2024 Winter Technology Conference held January 21-24 at the Auburn Marriott Opelika Resort & Spa at Grand National in Opelika, Alabama.  

According to ASA Executive Director Jimmy Lambert, sheriffs participating in the conference were given the opportunity to explore the latest technology innovations available to law enforcement through exhibits and live demonstrations.“The conference also included leadership training and time for the sheriffs to meet and share ideas with each other,” said Lambert.  

Training sessions provided technology information on a wide range of law enforcement  issues, including sexual assault, drone programs, threat assessments, human trafficking, drug trafficking, gang activity, missing persons, and 911 preparedness. Keynote speaker for the event was Dr. Kevin Elko, a consultant for several NFL and college sports teams, including the Pittsburgh Steelers, Dallas Cowboys, LSU, Alabama, and Florida State University. Over 80 vendors were present for the event, and corporate partners included Combined Public Communications, Kimble’s Food by Design, Legacy Commissary Services, and NCIC Inmate Communications.  

The conference concluded with a President’s Banquet where newly elected officers were sworn in by Houston County Circuit Judge Larry Anderson (retired). Donald Valenza, who has served as Houston County Sheriff since 2014, was installed as ASA President. Valenza replaces Sheriff Shannon Oliver of Franklin County, who served as association president in 2023. 

The new ASA officers for 2024 are:  

President Sheriff Donald Valenza, Houston County

1st Vice President Sheriff Matthew Wade, Calhoun County  

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2nd Vice President Sheriff Billy Murray, St. Clair County 

Secretary Sheriff Heath Jackson, Escambia County

Treasurer Sheriff Chris West, Lowndes County

Sergeant at Arms Sheriff Phil Sims, Marshall County

The Robert D. “Bobby” Timmons Sheriff of the Year Award for 2024 was presented to Shelby County Sheriff John Samaniego. The award is presented annually during the  banquet to a sheriff nominated by his peer who exemplifies outstanding service and heart in and beyond the scope of his office.  

Lastly, the conference served as the official kickoff of the inaugural Alabama Sheriffs  Association PCA Rodeo, which will be held at the National Peanut Festival Fairgrounds from May 9-11, 2024 in Dothan, Alabama. The event will feature world rodeo  champions, K-9’s, sheriffs’ posses, specialized equipment, and sheriffs’ displays. “This will be our association’s first rodeo,” said Lambert. “It will be a professional, family-friendly event featuring representation from the 67 Alabama sheriffs who serve and protect our families and communities each day.”

Tickets for the event go on sale in March.

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The Alabama Political Reporter is a daily political news site devoted to Alabama politics. We provide accurate, reliable coverage of policy, elections and government.

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