Sheriff: GSA charity is legitimate

COVINGTON - Newton County Sheriff Ezell Brown would like it to be known he is endorsing donations to the Georgia Sheriff's Association and Georgia Sheriff's Youth Homes.

Brown said numerous calls have come into his office from residents wanting to know if the organization is legitimate.

"We just want the citizens to know that we are in support of the Georgia Sheriff's Association," Brown said. "It is the only one such organization we support. If we decide to endorse or support any other organization, we would notify the citizens."

This policy has been in effect for many years at the Newton County Sheriff's Office. There are numerous organizations that solicit funds by claiming that they are aiding law enforcement endeavors and charities, but the public is advised to know the background of any charity that solicits funds either through the mail, telephone or Internet.

The GSA has recently sent out a mailing with Brown's signature to Newton County residents, prompting many to question whether it is legitimate. The sheriff said he wanted to assure residents that they would be doing the right thing by donating to this charity.

According to their Web site, the GSA works to promote and improve law enforcement in Georgia, to provide training and education for sheriffs, deputy sheriffs and others, and to maintain an active voice in the Georgia General Assembly on matters relating to public safety, law enforcement and Georgia's criminal and juvenile justice systems.

The GSA is comprised of the 159 county-elected sheriffs and nearly 70,000 honorary members.

It sponsors the Georgia Sheriffs' Youth Homes, which provide yearround, full-time residential care for more than 100 of Georgia's dependent, abused, abandoned and neglected children.

A full financial disclosure can be found on their Web site at www.georgiasheriff.org.

Barbara Knowles can be reached at barbara.knowles@newtoncitizen.com.