FORT WORTH – Grimes County Sheriff Don Sowell received the prestigious Tom Tellepsen Award at the Sheriffs’ Association of Texas’ 144th Annual Training Conference and Expo held in Fort Worth July 23-26.
The Tom Tellepsen Award is named in honor of the late Tom Tellepsen, a native of Norway, who became a staunch and patriotic American. The Tellepsen Foundation, which was created to honor his lifelong support of law enforcement, provides the award.
Selection criteria includes the recognition of outstanding contributions to the advancement of law enforcement and criminal justice and honors more than ability and performance. The recipient, must possess these qualities, must additionally have demonstrated the human element that engraves his/ her name in the hearts of all the law enforcement community, and a genuine love of the profession. The award, that was established in 1975, is the highest tribute a sheriff can receive.
“The Tom Tellepsen Award from the Sheriff’s Association of Texas was certainly a very humble and heartfelt presentation,” explained Sowell. “I was certainly surprised and truly honored by this award. I just feel that too many other Sheriffs were much more deserving.”
Sowell is a United States Air Force veteran and was appointed as Grimes County Sheriff Sept. 10, 1998 and elected Nov. 7, 2000. He has been reelected numerous times and has served Grimes County for almost 24 years.
During his tenure Sowell has stood firm on numerous topics including the Second Amendment, Border Patrol security and being a steward of the community. When faith wavered for many during the search for 3-year-old Christopher Ramirez, Sowell stood firm in his faith and exhausted every resource to return the miracle-child home to his family.