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The United States National Sheriff’s Association (NSA) Held Their Annual Conference June 28th – July 2nd 2008 In Indianapolis, Indiana. This Meeting Was Attended By Leo Netten – UIHJ First Vice-President, Sue Collins – Permanent Secretary for the U.S. And Fred Blum From the National Association of Professional Process Servers (NAPPS).

A One-Thousand-Year Old English Tradition

The modern office of sheriff in the United States descends from a one-thousand-year old English tradition. A “shire-reeve” (shire-keeper) is the oldest appointment of the English crown. Because county governments were typically the first established units of government in newly settled American territories, sheriffs were among the first elected public officials in an area and thus developed a leading role in local law enforcement. Today, the sheriff is the highest elected law enforcement official in the United States.

The NSA was chartered in 1940 and is a professional association dedicated to serving the office of sheriff and its affiliates. The NSA represents thousands of Sheriffs, deputies and other law enforcement professionals and concerned citizens throughout the United States. In 2006, the Bureau of Justice Statistics released its most recent Executive Summary on Sheriff’s Offices. The report contained the following statistics:

– Sheriffs employed more than 330,000 full-time personnel, including 174,000 sworn personnel.

– Sheriff’s offices’ operating expenditures exceeded $22 billion.

A sheriff must execute process without attempting to determine its validity. A court will not direct or advise a sheriff as to the manner of executing process, but the sheriff has a duty to effect service promptly, respectfully, and without unnecessary violence. A sheriff must exercise due diligence but need not expend all possible efforts in effecting service. The sheriff and his deputies in the United States are government employees or civil servant. Individual state regulations define a sheriff’s role in serving process. While in some states a process server or private investigator is authorized to serve the writ, a sheriff is the universally authorized officer to execute all writs returnable to the court within his county. Sheriffs levy writs of attachment or execution: orders to seize a debtor’s property. After seizure, the goods are sold at a sheriff’s auction to satisfy creditors’ claims. A sheriff decides the time, manner, and place of an auction, collects monies, and distributes the proceeds pursuant to court instructions. The sheriff is the only authority recognized for these duties in all 50 states.

NSA to join the UIHJ

The NSA has agreed to join the UIHJ as an observer member. This development is very important for both the NSA and the UIHJ. Although the UIHJ currently has NAPPS as a member from the United States, the members of NAPPS, as a whole, do not have the authority to collect a judgment or execute a seizure on property. The sheriff’s office has full authority to conduct these actions thus complementing NAPPS within the United States. Mr. Leo Netten, 1st Vice-President of the UIHJ was given the opportunity to address the NSA’s Executive Board during its semi-annual meeting. Mr. Netten introduced the UIHJ, its structure and its worldwide activities to the NSA board. He welcomed the NSA into the UIHJ as observers, voicing his hope that the NSA will become full members of the UIHJ in the future. Mr. Blum addressed the NSA Board on behalf of NAPPS. He expressed the desire of NAPPS’ Board to build a relationship with the NSA with the goal of mutual professional cooperation in the future. Mr. Netten again received the invitation to address NSA’s Court Security Committee. The Court Security Committee has jurisdiction over issues which affect the civil division in a sheriff’s office. Mr. Netten explained in greater detail the UIHJ’s mission and activities and how the NSA and UIHJ could be of benefit to each other within the 70-country worldwide collaboration that is the UIHJ. The committee was very receptive to the UIHJ and the building of a relationship between the two associations.

The Annual Conference of the National Sheriffs Association takes place each summer for approximately one week. During this conference new officers are elected, committees meeting to conduct business and many seminars and speakers are invited in to train and educate the 5,000 plus members in attendance at the conference. Many vendors attend to introduce their equipment, services, software, etc., to the conference attendees. The NSA also holds a smaller conference in the winter season. This year’s winter conference will be in Washington, DC., January 28-31st at the JW Marriott hotel. More information about the National Sheriff’s Association can be found at their web site: www.sheriffs.org.