Emmitt Jackson has never left the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, but he hasn’t lived in Denton County in about 18 years. When an opportunity arose at the Argyle Police Department that would allow him to get closer to home, he jumped at the chance.
“When the Argyle opportunity presented itself, it was a chance to get back home,” Jackson said. “Everyone I know and love is right here in Denton County. It was a chance to come lead a first-rate agency right in my backyard. That was kind of a no-brainer for me.”
Jackson, 41, was born and raised in Denton and graduated from the University of North Texas, where he met his wife, Lera. They have been married 21 years and have four children.
In 2002, when he was 24, Jackson left to join the Dallas Police Department and rose through the ranks to the position of lieutenant, which he held from 2013-2017. He was the police chief for the town of Keene, a small town south of Fort Worth, until he started his new job as Police Chief for the town of Argyle on Jan. 2. Argyle is similar to Keene in that both are small agencies in small towns where and officers and employees wear many hats, Jackson said, but Argyle is “a little more affluent, so resource-wise, we have a lot more to work with here.”
The Argyle Police Department had not had much change in leadership until recently. Longtime Argyle Police Chief Tom Tackett retired in March 2018 after more than 25 years with the agency, the last 18 as chief. His successor, Temple Cottle, had been with the department for about 21 years before he retired in October 2019. The Argyle Town Council hired a recruitment firm to find Cottle’s replacement, and after interviewing several candidates, it selected Jackson in December.
Jackson said that the department was in a good place when he assumed the chief’s role, which was a sign of “very competent leadership,” and it is “not in need of wholesale change.” But he will be adding his personal touches to the department.
“I want to build a lot more power base at the officer level and up, to de-centralize some of the decision-making and give our officers a little more leeway to make impactful decisions,” Jackson said, adding that the department will soon roll out some new equipment, firearms and uniforms.
“I think it will add a little bit more of that 21st century look and feel to our agency,” Jackson said.
The department is noticeably more active on social media since Jackson began leading it.
“I’ve seen the power that social media can have to spread both misinformation and good information very quickly,” Jackson said. “I’m a firm believer that if we get out there in front of things and we use our social media to spread factual information as quickly as we can, we can control the narrative a lot better and keep people better informed for the things they need to know.”
Jackson said he wanted Argyle residents to know that APD officers are “a very good group of community-focused officers” who are dedicated to providing the best possible law enforcement service.