By Alton Porter
The City of Grapeland now has a new police chief.
Don Myers, who currently works with the Smith County Sheriff's Office, has accepted the position as chief of the Grapeland Police Department, effective around Tuesday or Wednesday, Sept. 20 or Sept. 21, according to Grapeland Mayor Balis Dailey.
Dailey said Myers accepted the position over the past weekend, and Dailey announced the acceptance late Tuesday morning. He said Myers' acceptance of the position and his hiring will be confirmed at a Grapeland City Council meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 13.
Myers "is the one who has verbally accepted the position (of police chief)," Dailey said. "Yesterday (Monday) was a holiday and we haven't seen him in. If everything goes well, we would expect his first day to be around Sept. 20 or 21.
"He accepted it over the weekend. We just didn't want to release it until after he had a chance to think about it. Actually, it was late Friday (when he accepted). And then, I just kind of let it sit for a couple of days to make sure I haven't had any calls back."
Dailey said Myers "comes from Smith County" where he is employed by the sheriff's department there.
"He has extensive experience in various areas of law enforcement. He brings with him a very impressive list of licenses, certifications and training in law enforcement. And he also comes with a plan he presented to us on things he's going to work to implement within the police department. And a lot of them have to do with community. He was impressive in that area.
"All of the candidates were strong. All were good. He just – in his interviews and all – presented the best interview, the best documentation of his skills."
The city council has already taken action to approve the offer and acceptance of Myers as chief (at a meeting Thursday, Sept. 1), so any comments made at the Sept. 13 meeting will just be for the purpose of "confirmation" of him as chief, Dailey said.
Myers told the Courier Tuesday afternoon (Sept. 6), "I have, in fact, graciously accepted the offer of the position of police chief, and I look forward to serving the citizens of Grapeland, Texas. Just to give you an idea, I am due to start, I think, effectively on the 20th (of September).
He said his current position with the Smith County Sheriff's Office is that of patrol deputy, and he has been in law enforcement since 1989.
"I've had various jobs (in the field of law enforcement)," Myers said, adding, he started as a patrol officer for the City of Jacksonville Police Department, after graduating from from the police academy at Kilgore Junior College.
Then, he moved back home to Palestine and Anderson County, where he served as an investigator for "quite a few years" in that county's sheriff department.
From there, he said, he went to work for the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the State of Texas, where he worked criminal and administrative cases in the OIG's northern region of the state.
After a "short break in service," he returned to Anderson County, where he worked about five years before moving on to the Smith County Sheriff's Office, "where I have worked for a good while now."