On their first official day with the Erath County Sheriff’s Office Monday, Heath Crossland and Jesse Metcalf sat down with the E-T for an interview. 

The two men were hired last week by Sheriff Matt Coates. 

Crossland, 43, is the department’s new chief deputy, and Metcalf, 30, has been named captain.

Coates has known the two men for years, and interviewed 11 people for the jobs before making his decision. 

“It was a long process and I put a lot of thought into what I needed to do,” Coates said. “I considered people within and outside the department for these positions and I feel confident I made the right choice.”

Heath Crossland, chief deputy

Crossland and his wife Julia have been married for 18 years and have two children. The family lives in Waxahachie where they will finish the school year before relocating to Erath County.

“I plan to commute for awhile and spend a lot of time here,” Crossland said. 

Crossland began his law enforcement career 18 years ago in Ferris where he worked in patrol.

From there he went to Lancaster where he spent the past 15 years.

“When I left I was the criminal investigations sergeant,” he said. “My job included supervising the detectives and criminal investigations.” 

Crossland and Coates never worked together in the same department, but they knew each other in law enforcement circles.

When Eddie Ray Routh shot and killed Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield, Coates and Crossland spent time together working the case. 

At the time, Coates was the investigator for the Erath County district attorney’s office and Crossland worked in Lancaster, Routh’s home town.

Crossland said he plans to hit the ground running in his new role as chief deputy.

“I don’t know what, if anything, is broken in this department,” he said. “I just think it needs a different set of eyes on it. My leadership philosophy is an inclusive one and we will figure out how to work together as a team to benefit both the department and community.” 

Jesse Metcalf, captain

Metcalf and his wife Frances have three kids. 

He is a graduate of Tarleton State University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in applied arts and sciences and criminal justice administration.

Metcalf, whose family has known Coates’ family for years, said he didn’t have to think too hard about leaving his job in Big Spring to come work for Coates.

“I couldn’t ask for a better boss,” Metcalf said. “(Matt) was my first training officer and my first sergeant. We have had a good relationship for many years.”

After graduating from Tarleton, Metcalf went to work for the Howard County Sheriff’s Office as a jailer.

He then graduated from the police academy in Midland in December 2006 and went to work in patrol for the Big Spring Police Department.

He said his first order of business as captain will be developing a rapport with the department and community.

“The first thing I want to do is get to know the people in the office and in the community so there can be trust and a good rapport,” he said.