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Safety Matters: Erie County sheriff announces membership drive

BUFFALO — The New York State Sheriffs’ Association Institute has begun its annual honorary membership drive in Erie County, according to Sheriff Timothy Howard.

The New York State Sheriffs’ Association Institute, a not-for-profit corporation and tax-exempt organization, was established in 1979. Contributions to the institute are tax-deductible.

While the sheriff’s office is a unit of county government, many of the sheriffs’ and other law enforcement agencies’ concerns are best addressed on a statewide level.

The sheriffs’ institute provides centralized training programs and services for all its offices, where those programs and services would be unavailable or impractical, on a single-county basis.

The institute’s flagship program is the sheriffs’ summer camp for economically-disadvantaged children.

The camp, now in its 37th year of operation, is located on Keuka Lake; 840 children from across New York state attend, each summer. The sheriffs’ institute pays the entire cost of the camp and transportation. Most children would not otherwise have an opportunity for vacation travel or a summer camp experience.

The camp program combines summer recreation with activities designed to teach an understanding of, and respect for, our laws and the men and women who enforce them. The strong camper-to-counselor ratio allows for individual attention, with an emphasis on the development of self esteem.

“In these difficult economic times, we cannot forget our youth, who will not have the opportunity for a summer camp experience or a summer vacation,” Howard said. “By becoming an honorary member, you are supporting the sheriffs’ summer camp for economically-disadvantaged children.”

The sheriffs’ institute operates a scholarship program that provides one scholarship to each of New York state’s community college’s criminal justice programs. This program is designed to help attract the best and the brightest, to the criminal justice vocation.

For more information about the sheriffs’ summer camp and other sheriffs’ institute programs, visit our website,, or Google “sheriffs’ institute for kids.”

Financial support for many of the sheriffs’ institute programs comes from honorary membership dues. Invitations for honorary membership are extended, on a nonpartisan basis. Invitees are selected at random.

Anyone interested in supporting the efforts of the New York State Sheriffs’ Association Institute, by becoming an honorary member, should contact the sheriff, if they do not receive an invitation in the mail. Alternatively, visit, to download an application.

All donations made to the New York State Sheriffs’ Association Institute are tax-deductible. In addition, the sheriffs’ institute is registered with the New York State Attorney General’s Charities Bureau.

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