Ferrell sworn in as NSA president

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 26, 2002

TULSA, Okla. &045;&045; Adams County Sheriff Tommy Ferrell stepped into the national spotlight Wednesday night.

Ferrell, 55, began a one-year term as president of the National Sheriff’s Association in a ceremony at the Double Tree Hotel during the NSA’s national convention.

&uot;It was great,&uot; he said following the ceremony. &uot;We’re having a wonderful time.&uot;

Email newsletter signup

NSA represents more than 3,000 sheriff’s agencies nationwide.

Ferrell’s friend, U.S. District Judge David C. Bramlette, swore Ferrell in to the office.

&uot;I am deeply honored and humbled for the privilege of your selecting me as the 61st president of the National Sheriff’s Association,&uot; Ferrell said in a speech after his swearing-in ceremony. &uot;I would like to express my deep appreciation for the confidence that you have bestowed upon me.&uot;

He said that now more than ever law enforcement officers need to work closely together.

&uot;The tragic events that have gripped this nation a few short months ago have not only affected each other and every one of us in this room, but our profession is changing face,&uot; Ferrell said. &uot;The mission … is changing, almost daily.&uot;

In light of the ever-changing strains on law officers, Ferrell said he hopes a new buzzword takes begins to take flight among his peers &045;&045; interoperability.

The phrase simply means allowing departments to communicate &045;&045; by voice and other data means &045;&045; with one another across geographical and departmental lines.

Ferrell said to help achieve interoperability, the NSA will attempt to &uot;forge a partnership with the Congress and the Department of Justice.

On the data and records side of things, Ferrell said the problem is two-fold. First, a number of agencies have electronic records systems, but often those systems cannot be accessed electronically by other agencies.

Second, many sheriff agencies cannot afford such systems in the first place. To solve the issues Ferrell said the NSA will request federal appropriation to help connect the databases, which will assist in the homeland defense effort. The plan is dubbed the Pegasus Program.

&uot;I consider this initiative one of the most important issues NSA has facing it over the next year,&uot; Ferrell said.