SAN ANTONIO -

She was the first elected female sheriff in Bexar County.

On Tuesday, Bexar County Sheriff Susan Pamerleau accomplished another first when she delivered the first-ever “State of the Sheriff’s Office Address” to the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce.

In her address, Pamerleau noted that her first year has been a challenge in many areas. Not the least of which, she said, was bringing the department “into the 21st century.”

“Try to imagine running your business with the technology available in 1997,” Pamerleau said, adding. “Pretty scary, isn’t it?”

She said that improving technology in all areas -- from record-keeping to time sheet and schedule management -- has improved efficiency and saved money.

“Last January, almost 16,000 hours of overtime was required,” she said. “By December – just last month – we had reduced that by almost 80 percent.”

The sheriff said plans for new substations on the east and west sides of the county will improve response time for deputies on patrol.

And she said she has already implemented an aggressive recruitment campaign and plans to bring a new training facility online soon.

With a chuckle, Pamerleau noted that one move she made almost immediately upon taking office has proved to be among the most popular.

“The most popular decision has been bringing back the western-style cowboy hat," she said.

To read the full transcript of her address, click here (PDF).

For a list of recent stories Paul Venema has done, click here.