The Alabama Sheriffs Association was instituted in 1889 for mutual protection and enforcement of laws.
The purpose of the association shall be to encourage social, charitable, educational activities among the sheriffs; to continue the education of the various sheriffs and their deputies within the state of Alabama in all phases of law enforcement practice, procedure and technique; to resist efforts to curtail law enforcement within the state of Alabama; to educate the public in the observance of law and order; and, to do any and all things to promote the enforcement of law and order and the suppression of crime.
The Story of the Sheriff's Saddle
By Sheriff Justin Smith
Larimer County, Colorado
This is the story of the Sheriff's Saddle. It's a very plain saddle, not covered in fancy silver Conchos or a lot of tooling. This is a practical, tough working saddle.
The saddle sits empty of a rider, representing that the Office of Sheriff will have many occupants over time. You will notice that the stirrups on this saddle are adjustable, representing the need for adaptability to those whose boots will fill them over time.
Attached along the right side is the scabbard and rifle, representing the dangers that a Sheriff will face while in office. The Sheriff must be prepared to bravely face those dangers.
Attached to the back of the saddle are leather saddlebags. In the right saddlebag is an ammunition pouch for the Sheriff's rifle. This represents the dedication and endurance a Sheriff must demonstrate during a long, tough fight. There is also a Bible, representing the Sheriff's commitment to a cause greater than the individual. It represents honor, integrity, and eternal truths.
In the left saddlebag, protected in a leather pouch, are copies of the United States Constitution. The Sheriff must uphold and defend this sacred document.
Sitting next to the saddle is the Sheriff's hat, which offers a shield from the sun, wind, and rain. This protection will provide clarity of vision.
Hanging off the saddle horn is a bridle and a set of spurs. The bridle and reins represent the Sheriff's responsibility for directing the agency. The Sheriff uses the spurs to signal the need to move forward or to pick up the pace and a touch of the reins to slow things down. Over time, a wise and practiced Sheriff learns to give subtle cues by simply shifting in the saddle and using only a light touch of the reins and spurs.
The Sheriff also carries a supply of hardtack in a pouch and a canteen of water slung across the saddle horn. The Sheriff needs both of these provisions to maintain strength.
Tied behind the saddle is a bedroll and beneath the saddle is a wool blanket, which, when unfolded, gave added warmth for the many long and cold nights that the Sheriff will spend away from home.
There is also a duster draped across the back of the saddle. Throughout the journey of holding office, the Sheriff will encounter many storms. The Sheriff must be prepared to face them head on and will do so under the protection of the duster.