In LaFayette it is that time of year again when everyone gathers at the Chambers County Agriculture Center to hear the roar of the crowd, to watch the cowgirl’s wav-ing flags, to taste the dust blowing out of the arena and set on the edge of the bleachers as the cowboys try to make eight seconds on the back of an angry bull. Yes it is time for the Sheriff ‘s Rodeo to roll back into town. Back in 1997 the Sher-iff’s Rodeo was held at the old Double C arena off of Highway 50, but with its popularity and crowd growing there was a need for a new and bigger facil-ity. In 2002 with a joint effort between the Cham-bers County Commission and the Chambers County Sheriff Department the Chambers County Agriculture Arena was developed. The last 17 years have brought many improvements to the com-plex including an official sized arena, bathrooms, bleachers, livestock stalls and a concession stand. But the rodeo is not just about the events that are carried on that particular weekend. The rodeo is actually an out reach pro-gram for the sheriff’s de-partment. The funds from the events that spectators enjoy go to numerous causes that touch the lives of all Chambers County citizens.Chambers County Chief Deputy Richard Carter stated, “The rodeo funds help purchase and upkeep equipment that the budget just does not cover.” Past rodeo funds have helped with the purchase of car cameras, body cameras, radar and training for the deputies. The rodeo funds help with the upkeep of specialized equipment like the Meth hearst, which is used in the Just Say No to Drugs program. Carter said “ The hearst is meant to make a visual impact on the minds of kids and to show them the path that Meth will take them down.” The Sheriff’s department also has two Humvee’s they obtained thru a military surplus. The Humvee’s have been used in bad weather events to get crucial personnel to work and even pick up stranded motorists. “The aviation helicop-ter is not covered at all in our budget,” stated Carter. “When it is flying we are looking for something or someone.” The helicop-ter is also part of project “Life Saver.” Project Life Saver is set up to help locate potential missing persons. A bracelet can be obtained for at risk persons such as a person with dementia, someone with autism that may be prone to wondering off. With Project Life Saver a person wearing one of these bracelets can be tracked and located by the flying helicopter. Other special equip-ment maintained by rodeo funds includes the dive boat used by the dive team for search and recovery. Equipment for the K-9 units and the command trailer.Funds also go to support the girls ranch, friends of drug court and other organizations.Richard Carter stated, “ We understand that our 23rd annual rodeo would not be possible with out the support of the com-munity and we appreciate everyone who attends. We hope everyone knows that this is not an event for us, but for the community it’s self.”The sheriff’s depart-ment said one of the big-gest things that the rodeo allows them to do is the special needs rodeo which occurs the day before the actual rodeo itself kicks off. There is a board of nine hard working people who work year around to plan this event. Now the special needs rodeo has turned into as big of an event as the Sheriff’s Ro-deo itself. With the help of the board and many volunteers the special needs rodeo host about 500 special needs kids and allows them to have an adventurous day full of activities and animals.Sheriff Sid Lockhart thanks everyone for their continued support and hopes to see everyone under the arena light on April 5th and 6th.