Sheriffs from all over the state were invited to participate in the 2024 Alabama Sheriffs Association (ASA) Winter Technology Conference in Opelika this January.

Participants, including Baldwin County Sheriff Huey Hoss Mack, learned about new technologies and received training throughout the conference.

“It was an honor to attend the annual winter conference of the Alabama Sheriff’s Association in Opelika,” Mack told 1819 News. “During this time, there were three days of training which included leadership, legislative updates, and technology.”

Mack said one of the things that stood out to him was training on how to respond to people with developmental disorders and other challenges.

“One of the items was the new Cade Noah Act, which mandates sensory training for all law enforcement officers in the state of Alabama,” he said. “This is specifically related to training for law enforcement and dealing with individuals who have autism or other sensory disabilities.”

Huey Hoss Mack Alabama News
Baldwin County Sheriff Huey Hoss Mack. Photo: Alabama Sheriffs Association.

Exhibitors and over 80 vendors from all around attended the conference to show off the latest technology available to law enforcement.

Training also touched on drone programs, threat assessments, 911 preparedness and new information on human trafficking, drug trafficking, gang activity, missing persons cases and sexual assault response.

Shelby County Sheriff John Samaniego received the Robert D. “Bobby” Timmons Sheriff of the Year Award.

New officers were sworn in at the conference.

Officers sworn in Alabama News
Officers sworn in. Photo: Alabama Sheriffs Association.

The new president is Houston County Sheriff Donald Valenza. Other officers sworn in were:

1st Vice President – Sheriff Matthew Wade, Calhoun County
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 association will hold its inaugural Alabama Sheriffs Association Rodeo May 9–11, during the National Peanut Festival in Dothan.

“This will be our association’s first rodeo,” said ASA Executive Director Jimmy 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.”

“This event will draw professional rodeo participants from all across the southwest and southeast,” Mack added. “Benefits from the rodeo will include the Alabama, Sheriff’s boys and girls ranches as well as other charitable foundations.”

3R Rodeo Company, from Jemison, will manage the rodeo.

The Alabama Sheriffs Association is a non-profit organization that has existed since 1889.

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