Statue of Sul Ross stands on the campus of Texas A&M University
Our Rich History
The Sheriffs' Association of Texas is one of the oldest law enforcement associations in the nation. The Sheriffs' Association of Texas met for the first time on August 14, 1874, in the courthouse in Corsicana, Navarro County, Texas. The meeting was called to order by Sul Ross, Sheriff of McLennan County, who later became a notable part of Texas history.
The Sheriffs began annual training conferences in 1878. These training conferences today are the largest composite gathering of law enforcement officers in Texas. Sheriffs and other county and local law enforcement officers, federal and state officers, and major industry security personnel attend.
The preamble of the first meeting: "That we, as Sheriffs, have assembled in convention for no political purpose whatsoever, but for the purpose of more successfully aiding each other as officers, to execute the laws, in the discharge of our duties against criminals, and for the further and better protection of the citizens of our respective counties and the State at large."
The goal and mission of the Association remains the same today.
The History of Office of Sheriff
The Office of Sheriff in Texas was created by the Texas Constitution. There are 254 Counties in Texas and each county has a Sheriff. By statutes, the Sheriff is a Texas peace officer, a conservator of the peace, enforces the criminal laws of the State, and is responsible for the county jail, bail bonds, civil process, and security of the courts. In some small counties the Sheriff is also the tax collector.
The Office of Sheriff is one of the oldest offices known to our system of jurisprudence. Sheriffs are elected to office and serve for a four-year term. The size of Texas Sheriff's offices are as diverse as the population of their counties.