Park County has a new Homeland Security Director.
Sheriff Scott Steward announced Wednesday the appointment of Jack Andrew Tatum to the position, replacing Martin Knapp.
The director is responsible for planning, directing and overseeing the activities and emergency operations for the county and ensuring that local emergency operations response agencies and the general public are prepared for any hazard or emergency, as well as other duties as required.
Knapp retired earlier in the month. During this transition, the office of Homeland Security was reassigned under the direction of the sheriff’s office.
“The position of Homeland Security Director is essential to the safety and well-being of the citizens of Park County,” Steward said. “The key to any successful outcome during an emergency situation is being prepared and ensuring that essential safety services are deployed in a timely manner. Jack has my full support and confidence in his ability to ensure the safety of our residents.”
Tatum began his career with the fire mitigation arm of the U.S. Forest Service in 2008 in Townsend, Mont. In 2011, he transferred to the Big Horn Basin in the Lovell-Greybull area before eventually settling in Cody in 2015.
“I am extremely excited and honored to be serving the citizens of Park County as Homeland Security Director,” Tatum said. “As an employee of the Forest Service, we were always preparing for the next fire season through mitigation and preparation for fighting fires as they occurred. We were always thinking ahead, which instilled in me the importance of forward thinking. But I definitely felt that I could do more in preparing for emergencies locally rather than at the federal level.”
Tatum said his family had vacationed in the Big Horn Basin since he was born.
“I have been coming to this area with my family all my life and I definitely inherited my father’s love affair with the Big Horn Basin and Yellowstone National Park,” he said. “And now I have an opportunity to serve in the area that I love. Without being too cliché, it’s really a dream come true.”
Tatum was born in Muskogee, Okla., and grew up in the Liberty, Okla., area. He has an associate’s degree in Natural Resource Biology from Northwest College and a Bachelor of Science degree in Fire Ecology and Management from the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho.