When did you know you wanted to become a police officer?
I had a young family and was working a job as an electrician.
When that job came to an end I needed to find another job. A friend told me about an opening at small police department in the town of Allen just north of Plano. So I went and applied and got the job. I went through the academy and It turned out to be the best thing I ever did! I worked on patrol for 28 years before moving to Criminal Investigations for the last 8 years of my career.
What kinds of negotiations did you settle working at Allen PD?
Almost every call requires some sort of negotiations. But I assume you are asking about the higher priority calls. I have worked all sorts of negotiations from domestic disturbances to barricaded subjects to those just needing an ear to listen to them. I have even had to go to calls involving people I have personally known.
What has been your strangest negotiation?
We once chased a subject inside a construction zone. We didn’t know exactly where he was inside that construction area. We set the perimeter and were able to make contact with the subject on his cell phone.
After a couple hours of negotiating with the subject he exited the port-a-potty!
When you would pick up the phone to talk a caller down from an emotional state back to a rational state of mind, how did it feel knowing that you saved a life that could have possibly ended?
Every call an officer responds to involves encountering someone in an emotional state. Besides dealing with local residents in emotional distress, as a part of my duties and training I also worked the Dallas Suicide & Crisis Center for over 20 years. It is always a great feeling knowing that I have been able to help a person in crisis. Things happen and everyone is susceptible to bad times. It is nice to be able to help them get back on track.
Working for the police department, whether it be from SWAT or negotiations, how did you keep the stress from getting to you?
As the years go by one does tend to become more callous and indifferent after dealing with so much negativity on a daily basis. But, I think my best answer to this question is that I loved my job. I truly enjoyed being a police officer and helping people. When one loves their job it makes it easier to overlook the difficulties and continue to move forward.
What has been most rewarding about working for the Allen PD?
By far it has been all the people I have not only met and helped but also the people I have gotten to know over the years. Allen is a GREAT City with GREAT people! And I can’t forget that I found the love of my life working at Allen PD! She was a dispatcher and used to tell me where to go!
Being one of the original SWAT members, how does it make you feel to be part of the origin of one of Allen’s patrol divisions? It is rewarding looking back so many years ago and knowing that I was one of the founding SWAT team members. It was way different back then. The guys today are faced with so much more than we ever imagined.
What did the training include to be a member of SWAT?
We had lots of exercises and hands on training and drills with other agencies. t is a great feeling knowing that I was a founding member of the Allen Police Department’s first SWAT team. The guys on the team today do a lot more training and are faced with more dangerous situations. I am very proud of the them and all they do. Every team should try and be better than the teams that preceded them.
What are a lot of common misconceptions that movies get wrong about being a negotiator or a SWAT member?
Everything in the movies is so sensationalized! SWAT & Negotiators spend many hours just sitting and waiting and watching and planning. Face to face combat with the subject is not the norm.
How has the city grown since you first joined the police department, and how has its growth impacted the Police department?
The City and the department have grown immensely! I worked for Allen PD for 36 years. When I started the only thing on the West side of town was a McDonald’s and a gas station. The rest was all farming fields. The McDonald's closed at 10 so if we got hungry during our night shift we had to go to the gas station and heat up one of their frozen burritos in the microwave.
The population was 8000 and there were only 14 police officers. There was only one red light in town (Main & Hwy 5) Allen was a bedroom community.
Back then we could go many hours without a call. We spent lots of time patrolling the area. During the deep night shift 3am-7am there was only 1 officer working. Now as you well know, Allen is no longer a bedroom community, it is a booming City. The population today is over 100,000 and we have approximately 140 police officers!
After working for Allen PD for 36 years, what impact do you feel you have left on the city? And how does that impact you made make you feel?
I don’t know exactly what impact I may have made on the City as a whole. But I hope I left Allen a little bit better and a little more kinder.
I wore the badge proudly but never let the badge wear me.
I have always prided myself on treating everyone with the same kindness, respect, and understanding that I would want to be treated with. I never lost sight of the fact that anyone can have a bad day or a bad moment but that does not define them.
I hope that that has rubbed off and everyone treats others the way they wish to be treated.
I also trained many of the officers and supervisors that are working today and it is a good feeling to know that I have contributed to their careers and their success and feel good knowing that they will serve Allen well.
I feel incredibly proud of the job I have done and will undoubtedly miss working alongside my partners in blue and serving the fine residents of Allen.