Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to questions about the Virginia Sheriffs’ Institute

Do you have a question about the work of VSI? Below you will find answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about our organization. If you can’t find the answer to your question on this page, please feel free to contact us.

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What are my contributions to Virginia Sheriffs’ Institute (VSI) used for?

The Virginia Sheriffs’ Institute encourages charitable and educational activities among the sheriffs and deputies within the Commonwealth of Virginia to educate the public and to do any and all things to promote the enforcement of law and order and the suppression of crime. VSI sponsors numerous programs including a spring educational conference for sheriffs and deputies, a newly elected sheriffs’ school, lawful employment training for sheriffs, Virginia State Police Association Emergency Relief Fund, the Virginia Network for Victims and Witnesses of Crime, Inc., Concerns of Police Survivors (COPS), Virginia Coalition for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, Inc. and the Virginia Law Enforcement Memorial Fund to honor Virginia officers killed in the line of duty. In addition, the VSI provides scholarships to people throughout Virginia who major in criminal justice at a Virginia college or university and provides support to the families of deputies or sheriffs killed in the line of duty, in an effort to relieve personal and community distress relating to such incidents.

Why do I get so many appeals? How many times per year do you ask for contributions?

Our membership renewal goes out in October of each year and includes bumper stickers and window decals and a subscription to our associate member quarterly newsletter . If a member does not renew in October, a reminder letter will go out in January and again in March. All renewed members will receive their official membership card in January. The Virginia Sheriffs’ Institute sends out other mailings throughout the year to fund specific programs.

The Virginia Sheriffs’ Association uses the associate member mailing list and sends out two letters of their own a year – the legislative appeal requesting support for the Association’s legislative activity, which includes efforts in the General Assembly to strengthen law enforcement and criminal justice in Virginia (January/February) and the annual citizen support drive (August).

What is the difference between the Virginia Sheriffs’ Institute and the Virginia Sheriffs’ Association?

The proceeds supporting the Virginia Sheriffs’ Institute are used exclusively for training and educational programs, including the scholarship program, of which we are very proud.

The Virginia Sheriffs’ Association is an organization established to represent the interests of sheriffs and law enforcement before the General Assembly in Virginia. It is a professional trade association of which contributions are not tax deductible.

Where do you get your mailing lists from?

The Virginia Sheriffs’ Institute partners with a marketing company that purchases mailing lists from a variety of sources, including magazine subscriptions and product warranty cards.

Does the Virginia Sheriffs’ Institute call me at home using telemarketers?

The Virginia Sheriffs’ Institute does not solicit donations by telephone. There are numerous companies doing phone solicitations for various police organizations, but we are not among them.

How many scholarships are awarded each year? How much do you give?

The number and amount of scholarships the Virginia Sheriffs’ Institute awards each year varies depending on the number of eligible students and the amount of money raised during the year. In May 2022, the Virginia Sheriffs’ Institute Scholarship Committee awarded 55 scholarships. The full-time recipients received $1,000 and the part-time recipients received $500 for a total of $53,000.

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