Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith announces that the New York State Sheriffs’ Association Institute will begin its annual Honorary Membership drive in Putnam County next week.
Although the Sheriff’s Office is a unit of county government, many of the concerns of Sheriffs and other law enforcement agencies are best addressed on a statewide level. The Sheriffs’ Institute provides centralized training programs and services for all Sheriffs’ Offices, which might otherwise be unavailable or impractical to provide on an individual county basis.
The flagship program of the Sheriffs’ Institute is the Sheriffs’ Summer Camp for economically disadvantaged children. The Sheriffs’ Camp, in its 37th year of operation, is located on Keuka Lake and over 800 children from across New York State attend the camp each sumamer. Most children attending the camp would not otherwise have an opportunity for vacation travel or a summer camp experience. The Sheriffs’ Institute pays the entire cost of the campers’ stay and transportation.
The Sheriffs’ Camp program combines summer recreation with activities designed to teach an understanding of, and respect for, the laws and the men and women who enforce them. The high counselor-to-camper ratio enables individual attention. The camp program emphasizes the development of a camper’s self-esteem.
“In these difficult economic times, we must not forget the hundreds of youths who would not have the opportunity for a summer camp experience or a summer vacation without the Sheriffs’ Summer Camp, ” Sheriff Smith said. “By becoming honorary members of the Sheriffs’ Institute, Putnam County residents can join in helping to ensure that hundreds of kids will continue to enjoy the Sheriffs’ Summer Camp. “
In addition, the Sheriffs’ Institute operates a scholarship program that provides a scholarship to one student studying criminal justice at each one of the community colleges throughout the state. The scholarship program is intended 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, citizens may visit the website www.sheriffsinstitute.org  or simply search “Sheriffs’ Institute kids” online.
Financial support for many of the Sheriffs’ Institute programs comes from Honorary Membership dues. Invitations for Honorary Membership are extended on a non-partisan basis, and the invitees are selected at random. Any persons interested in supporting the efforts of the Sheriff’s Institute who do not receive a membership invitation in the mail may telephone the Institute at (518) 434-9091 or visit the Institute website at www.sheriffsinstitute.org to download an application.
The New York State Sheriffs’ Association Institute was established in 1979. It is a not-for-profit and tax-exempt organization and is registered with the New York State Attorney General’s Charities Bureau. Contributions to the Institute are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.