Friday in a packed courtroom, Tommy Ford was sworn in as the Sheriff of Bay County, bringing in a new era.
“I’m excited,” said Sheriff Tommy Ford. “You know, I was able to say the oath of office that I will support protect and defend the constitution and we certainly take that to heart.”
Friends, family and fellow law enforcement members were there in support.
For Ford, family was an especially important part of this day as his brother gave the invocation.
Ford’s father-in-law, Judge Thomas Ellinor, swore him in using a bible that belonged to his father.
“Sometimes this job can get kind of crazy, but when I get home and get into those doors with my brother or my mom or in-laws, you know, that’s just kind of the harbor from the storm and it means so much to have their support in this line of work,” said Ford.
After giving many thanks to those who helped him get to this day, Ford announced some changes to the sheriff’s office chain of command.
“At this time, I am not filling the chief deputy position,” announced Ford.
For now, Ford is splitting the responsibilities of his former position.
Captain Ricky Ramie and Captain Jimmy Stanford are now Majors and Bay County Jail Warden Rick Anglin has also been promoted to Major, each over seeing a different aspect of the sheriff’s office.
“This is something that Sheriff McKeithen and I have been talking about for a while and I think it will just result in a more responsive organization and a manageable span of control, where the one person is not always in crisis mode,” said Ford.
Former Sheriff Frank McKeithen was not in attendance. Sheriff Ford said McKeithen is kicking off retirement somewhere at the top of a mountain.