The annual meeting of the Pennsylvania Sheriffs' Association will be held in Warren County for the first time, according to Warren County Sheriff Ken Klakamp.
He said that Warren, Crawford, Venango and Forest counties would host the event on July 23-26 at the Warren Holiday Inn.
"All members of the association, all 67 sheriffs, their chief deputies and administrative staff and spouses have been invited," he said.
Other than an event in Erie County, this will be the first in northwestern Pennsylvania, he said.
They are expecting 250 to 300 people, and 75 rooms have been reserved at the Holiday Inn for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, with an option of up to 110 rooms if needed.
Klakamp said that there were 40 vendors at last year's meeting, mostly criminal justice-related, and there will be business meetings, training sessions and elections.
He said this will be a big event for the local economy, and will highlight the region.
On Friday morning, July 25, Dr. Bobby Smith of Baton Rouge, La., will speak, Klakamp said.
Smith was a Louisiana State Trooper for nine years. While making a traffic stop in 1986, a chase ensued. When the vehicle finally did stop, Smith couldn't stop in time to pull in behind it. When he parked in front of the car and stepped out of his cruiser, he took a shotgun blast to the face from a drug offender.
Klakamp said that today, although he is blind, Smith travels alone and talks of his tragedy, how he survived, and how to approach similar situations with the proper mind-set.
Smith's story is available online at www.visionsofcourage.com/.