State sheriff’s group welcomes new, returning sheriffs with Tuscaloosa event

If you see a lot of sheriff’s cruisers around town the next few days, don’t worry, they’re here for a good reason.

There’s not one, but 16 new sheriffs in town, and they’re here alongside returning sheriffs from around the state for the Alabama Sheriffs Association orientation, which is happening in Tuscaloosa this year.

WVUA 23 was in the safest room in the county Thursday at Embassy Suites in downtown Tuscaloosa, there with 51 of Alabama’s 67 sheriffs.

Tuscaloosa County Sheriff Ron Abernathy said he’s proud to be hosting the orientation this year.

“It is a great opportunity for Tuscaloosa for us to show what a beautiful place Tuscaloosa County is and everything that we have to offer,” he said.

Incoming Hale County Sheriff Michael Hamilton is no stranger to law enforcement. Before he was elected as sheriff last year, his 24-year career included eight years as police chief in Greensboro.

He said he’s honored at the chance to pick the brains of other law enforcement leaders about a problem impacting them all.

“Certain things that are going on in the county or other counties surrounding us like the drug epidemic,” Hamilton said.” We are seeing more and more cases of fentanyl use and overdoses. I have a serious background in working narcotics, so I plan on donating quite a bit of time with that.”
Tuscaloosa County Sheriff Ron Abernathy is proud to be hosting the orientation this year in his county.

Sheriffs said the orientation is a time of fellowship, brainstorming, problem solving, and camaraderie.

During the opening ceremonies Thursday, the Alabama Sheriffs Association made a special monetary presentation to Dallas County Sheriff Michael Grantham, whose jail was destroyed two weeks ago when an EF3 tornado hit Selma.

“When they tell you that no sheriff stands alone, it’s true,” Grantham said. “I didn’t have time to answer the phone. I had phone calls ringing, I had people bringing food, they brought people to cook, and just the support you guys gave me, I couldn’t have done it without you .”

The orientation lasts until Sunday.

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