One of the earliest known references to the "Sheriff" comes from the book of Daniel. The title began taking modern form in Medieval England, where they helped maintain law and order.
On the American frontier, Sheriffs helped safeguard peace in lawless territories. The Chatham County Sheriff's Office is believed to be the oldest law enforcement agency in Georgia - established in 1732.
Since the creation of the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association
in 1957, Georgia has become a national leader in its efforts to professionalize the Office of Sheriff.
In fact, Georgia was one of the first states to mandate qualifications for those seeking the Office of Sheriff, the first state to mandate in-service training, and the first state to conduct specialized training for newly elected sheriffs. The Association has also actively supported and introduced legislation requiring the investigation and removal of sheriffs who violate their oath of office or fail to perform the duties and responsibilities of the office.
The Association maintains a constant voice in the Georgia General Assembly for stronger sentencing of the criminal element in our society. We supported legislation and passed the add-on fines and forfeiture law whereby the criminals pay for the training and education of our law enforcement community throughout Georgia.
The Association conducts three sheriffs’ training conferences annually. In addition to training for the sheriffs, the Association offers training for sheriffs’ deputies, administrative staff personnel and sheriff's office chaplains.