11 years ago, the Missouri Sheriffs’ Association started a publication that would educate and inform the public on the role of the office of sheriff. Together, our team has accomplished that goal. The “Missouri Sheriff” magazine has been printing for more than 10 years now.

It is exciting to see that the publication has grown from 24 pages to 48 and transition from black and white to a beautifully and professionally designed full-color magazine filled with interesting and informative articles. It has been highly rewarding to watch as the sheriffs took “ownership” of the magazine, requesting extra copies to hand out in their communities, providing us with story suggestions for future issues and sharing photos and news of their accomplishments for print. Every time a magazine is published, I get calls about how pleased they are with the final product. I’m thankful that I have been allowed to get to know the sheriffs and watch them as they go the extra mile to provide service and protection for their communities.

As marketing director, it’s rewarding to see more and more vendors come on board. 10 years ago we had 56 vendors displaying their products and services at conferences. Today, we average 111 per conference. What support and great partnerships we have formed over the years!

I’m also pleased to be a part of MSA’s push to establish and maintain training for Missouri’s jail administrators and corrections staff so that our jails operate more safely and efficiently. Adopting statewide jail standards in 2016 was part of that effort and I’m honored that I’ve been able to sit on the board of the Jail Standards Committee, which is now in the process of assisting sheriffs in implementing those recommendations.

Victor Pitman recently came on board as program coordinator and is doing an excellent job developing training and lining up instructors for conferences and regional programs. New technology is helping law enforcement become more responsive and efficient. The MSA will be striving to make sure our sheriffs and their staff members know how to use it!

Although they vary widely, all of these projects are part of MSA’s mission to further the office of sheriff. I’m looking forward to 2019 and to working together with our staff, our sheriffs and our members to grow to the next level.

I’m also happy that the MSA decided to start a regular newsletter to “keep you in the loop” and let you know what is going on at the MSA, what is going on at your sheriff’s office and what is going on in the world of law enforcement. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoy creating it! We also hope it will convince you that your dollars are well spent when you join or continue your membership in the MSA.

-Jeanne Merritt