Monday, December 4, 2023

Police chief bids Double Oak farewell

The officers of the Double Oak Police Department would like to extend a Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in our community!

On a very personal note November 30, 2020 will be my last day as the Chief of Police.  It has been one of the great honors and privileges of my life to serve the citizens of Double Oak and work with the extremely professional men and women who wear our uniform.  It has been a truly amazing 11 and ½ years.

Our officers have engaged in many law enforcement actions over the past eleven years including resolution of a nationally-televised kidnapping, the arrest and successful prosecution of serial residential burglars, the resolution of multiple critical incidents involving barricaded persons (many times armed), provided assistance to persons in mental health crisis, and warrant service for known and wanted felony offenders.

Over the years our officers have responded to literally thousands of calls for police service.  We have worked closely with the Denton County Sheriff’s Office in Lantana and Copper Canyon answering priority 1 calls (critical calls in progress or with the threat of violence and weapons and require more than one officer or deputy), Bartonville, Argyle and occasionally Highland Village and Flower Mound Police Departments.  One consistent thread of working in southern Denton County is that we are a team of teams and we do not let our fellow officers answer potentially dangerous calls alone.

I am going to recognize some people that were extremely helpful on this journey.  I know some people are going to get left out and I apologize in advance.

Mayor Mike Donnelly, thank you for always being here for the department and our Town.  You are the BEST BOSS I have ever had, and your heart, ethics and moral compass are always on point.

Mayor (emeritus) Dick Cook, thank you for guiding me through at least half a dozen budget preparations and acting as our treasurer.  Thank you for being a mentor and role model about how service to others lasts throughout a lifetime.  Mostly thank you for your kindness and friendship.

Mayor Tom Pidcock, thank you for teaching me how to live with dignity and persevere in the face of adversity, I miss you.

Thank you to councilmember Tracy Miller for investing the time to visit Coppell PD and trusting that I could do the job.  Thank you for the frank conversations and constructive advice.

Thank you to councilmember John Dondrea for challenging the details of seemingly every PD proposal and frankly, single handedly, forcing me to improve my debating skills.  You are the living definition of the loyal opposition and a good friend.

Thank you Mayor Pro-Tem Whisenhunt, Deputy Mayor Pro-Tem Dent, and councilmembers Anita Nelson, Billie Garrett and Von Beougher.

Thank you to Double Oak Volunteer Fire Department Chief Russ Mabra, Chief Joe Dent, Chief Scott Whisenhunt, and every single team member for DOVFD.  Your organization is the backbone for our community.  Until I was employed here, I had no idea how much time is selflessly given by members of the volunteer fire department in service to mankind. The first aid training provided to our officers has been invaluable.  You cannot understand the relief an officer feels when they have been giving CPR to a person suffering a medical emergency when a DOVFD member walks through the door.

Thank you to the Double Oak Women’s Club for your relentless support to our community.  Annual funding for DOVFD, scholarships for community children, caring for families suffering sickness or crisis, or providing needed equipment to the police department.  Your organization is a paragon of selfless service and much appreciated by every officer and I believe every citizen of our Town.

Thank you, former Officer Blake Ringberg (now Lieutenant for an Arkansas Sheriff’s Department), for being in the right place at the right time and leaning into the concept of “proactive policing.”  People are alive today because you intercepted a known sexual predator and his robbery crew intent on doing harm to one of our residents.

Thank you, former Officer Scot Frenzen (now a Deputy Constable in Precinct 4), thankfully our only purple heart recipient during the past eleven years.  I will never forget seeing you on an ambulance gurney with a leg bone sticking over your boot proudly announcing that you did not let go of the arrestee in spite of the injury he inflicted upon you while trying to escape.  We could not be prouder of how you acquitted yourself that day.

Thank you, Detective Sergeant Clint Murphy, for your dedication to identifying, locating, and prosecuting dozens of financial fraud and identity theft suspects.  Your work has resulted in dozens of named suspects, referrals to federal, state and local agencies and the literal recovery of tens of thousands of dollars.  Thank you for your service as a mental health peace officer and assisting with the successful resolution of critical incidents involving people in mental health crisis here in Double Oak and in our surrounding communities.  Thank you for your patience, and thoroughness, investigating numerous family violence and child abuse allegations for our community.

Thank you, Captain Ruben Rivas, for your dedicated service to DOPD.  You have always been a role model for proactive policing and relentless in the pursuit of those who have done harm to our community.  You were a critical team member in the identification, apprehension, and prosecution of six kidnappers over the span of two years and two kidnappings (frankly that was a career right there).  You were vital in the breaking up of a residential burglary ring.  You have been the steady hand running patrol for the past eleven years.  Thank you for your loyalty, candor, and dedication to duty.  You made the job much easier.

Thank you, former Detective Paul Cichowski for establishing the policies and procedures in place with our Criminal Investigation Division today.  Few residents knew that you had served with Chicago PD as an internal affairs investigator and with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service as security detachment supervisor for Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld.  You were a role model detective for our agency and your legacy lives on.

Thank you, Officer Michael Wyman, for being the epitome of “Community Police Officer.”  Whenever I meet a Town resident, they inevitably have a story about an interaction with “Mike.”  Thank you for being our firearms instructor, field training officer and positive voice within the department.

Thank you, Officer Lonnie Sneed, for a relentless sense of optimism, dedication to duty and an amazing ability to work with youth in crisis.  Your life experiences as a foster parent and a police officer have made you an invaluable asset to our team.

Thank you, Officer Cody Leinweber, for your dedication to supervising the Field Training Program, being an outstanding day to day role model for recruits and fearlessly serving the citizens of Double Oak.

Thank you, Officer Brian Shults, for your dedicated assistance to keeping the police department technology running (servers, desktops, in car laptops, wireless access points, in car cameras and officer cameras).  Your ability to coordinate vendors and technicians as well as provide competent technical advice literally keeps the law enforcement machine running for our Town.  It is not often you get to make the following statement, but your skill sets are invaluable to our agency.

Thank you for joining our team Officer Rosa Riojas and Officer Eric Tolliver and best wishes for your career in Double Oak.  Thank you Reserve Officers Brett Bourgeois, Shawn Chelf and Jay Moussa for your quiet dedication to the mission of delivering police service to the Town.

Thank you, Sheriff Tracy Murphree, for “being there” in Double Oak’s hour of need as a Texas Ranger.  Thank you for always “being there” today as the Sheriff of Denton County.  As a small-town chief it’s comforting to know that necessary resources, during a time of crisis, are only one phone call away.

Thank you, District Attorney Paul Johnson, and your office of dedicated attorneys and investigators.  It is hard to explain how nice it is to work with a supportive prosecutor’s office.

Thank you, Judge Andy Eads, for your energized support and guidance for Precinct 4 and the Town of Double Oak during your service as our commissioner.

Thank you, Representative Tan Parker, for always having the time to help no matter the size of our department or our challenge.

Thank you, Town Secretary Charlotte Allen (retired), for being the font of all information regarding Double Oak, Flower Mound and Copper Canyon.

Thank you, Town Secretary Eileen Kennedy, for answering all questions financial and assisting with the preparation of twelve annual budgets.

Thank you, Lynn Jones, and Katherine McBride, for being the two most professional court clerks I have worked with over a 30-year career.

Thank you to the entire Brittain family for introducing me to the Town and always being a touchstone for why the Town works the way it does.

Thank you, Max Miller, for your friendship, guidance, editing and dedication to reminding me about the next deadline.

Citizens of Double Oak you live in a wonderful place.  It has been an honor to be your police chief.

CTG Staff
CTG Staff
The Cross Timbers Gazette News Department

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