Nacogdoches Sheriff Speaks of Lessons Learned from Shuttle Disaster

Smith County law enforcement heard first hand today how to deal with a tragedy -- from a man at the center of one of the worst disasters in East Texas history.

Nacogdoches County Sheriff Thomas Kerss has been in the public eye as the search for Space Shuttle Columbia debris is in its second month. He spoke Wednesday to the Smith County Peace Officers' Association.

Kerss and his department were mobilized February 1 as pieces of Columbia began falling all over Nacogdoches County. Today, he says the work of searchers isn't close to ending.

"The greening season is almost upon us. As the foliage comes out on the trees, it's going to make the search effort much more difficult. There's going to be items found for months, possibly even years," he says.

Many law enforcement folks from our part of East Texas have been part of the search teams, as well as volunteers from all over the country.