AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - The Sheriff's Association of Texas is asking citizens for donations to help local law enforcement receive training.
Every year, the association sends out letters to residents in Potter County asking them to join the Sheriff's Association of Texas. Residents have the option of enrolling in a membership and paying an annual fee ranging from $25-500.
Those donations are used to train law enforcement all over the state.
"It provides money to the Sheriff's Association who turns around and provides sheriffs and deputies with free training at the annual conference that we go to every year," said Potter County Sheriff Brian Thomas. "You have to realize that a lot of the Sheriff's Offices in the state of Texas, out of the 254 of them, a lot of them are 50 employee or less, and so they don't have a lot of funding to be able to afford training. This is a great opportunity for us to get down and get some training over our conference period."
Every peace officer has to have 40 hours of training every two years, and these conferences help law enforcement gain those hours.
The funds don't just help law enforcement at the conference. It helps them train locally as well. Thomas feels the training taught is essential. In the last few years they have been trained to deal with large issues such as K-9 encounters, the use of body cams, and open carry requirements.
Citizens gain several perks upon joining the Sheriff's Association of Texas.
"They get a little sticker they can put on their car, they also get out quarterly magazine called The Law Man, and it goes out to them personally to their residence and it gives a lot of information from all over the state as well," Thomas said.
Thomas said the city's budget is pretty sound, but they extra money helps with other expenses like travel.
"When we travel to go anywhere for training we're having to pay for travel, we pay for meals, hotel, all of that stuff," Thomas said. "A lot of training we don't get up in the Panhandle and for me to go travel to Austin that's at least a two day stay."
Letters will be mailed out to citizens next week, but anyone is welcome to sign up for a membership online.