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May 26, 2018

9/12/2017 7:27:00 AM
Wisconsin Sheriffs organizing hurricane relief

Following the unprecedented and devastating impact from Hurricane Harvey on the state of Texas and the Gulf Coast, the Wisconsin Badger State Sheriff's Association (BSSA) has implemented the Sheriffs Adopting Sheriffs program to help Sheriffs employees in the state of Texas.

The Sheriffs Adopting Sheriffs relief project is designated to help Sheriffs employees and their families who have been personally impacted by a natural or manmade disaster. The relief project was recently authorized by BSSA president, Sheriff Kim Gaffney of Marquette County. When these types of disasters occur, Gaffney said, too often lost in the mix of the disaster is the fact that Sheriffs emergency responders themselves suffer a major personal and family loss while still being expected to go to work, do their jobs, and continue to rescue and help others in need.

The BSSA Sheriffs Adopting Sheriffs program, Gaffney said, is designed to bring a little relief to those Sheriff's employees who leave their families during times of major emergencies and go to work helping others.

In 2012, the BSSA activated this program following Hurricane Sandy and helped four Sheriffs employees at the Union County Sheriff's Office in New Jersey. According to BSSA executive director Dean C. Meyer, the Sheriffs Adopting Sherriffs program primarily solicits specific donations from Sheriffs personnel and their families. Meyer said that is being done again this year, but because the need following Hurricane Harvey is so great in Texas, this year's program efforts are being expanded to give the citizens, businesses, and other organizations the opportunity to participate and help out.

During a recent phone discussion between Meyer and Steve Westbrook, executive director of the Texas State Sheriffs Association, Westbrook said the devastation reported from at least 18 counties is beyond description. At the time of that phone conversation, Westbrook said the estimated home loss in the state of Texas alone has exceeded 80,000.

Because of the magnitude of Hurricane Harvey, said Meyer, the BSSA is reaching out to the citizens, business and civic organizations in Wisconsin to encourage participation. There are nearly 5.8 million people living in our state, Meyer said. Think what could be raised if every adult could walk into their county sheriff's office and donate just $5. This what could be raised if every business in the state sent a check for just $25 to their county sheriff. This what could be raised if every type of civic organization in the state made a $50 contribution to their county sheriffs - Sheriffs Adopting Sheriffs program. The Sheriffs Adopting Sheriffs program will run in each county until Oct. 4. Anyone seeking additional information is encouraged to contact their county sheriff or the BSSA.

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