Stephenville’s new police chief comes with an impressive resume.
US Border Patrol Academy Chief Dan Harris was officially tapped to become the city’s next police chief during a special meeting of the Stephenville City Council on Tuesday.
He will begin his new role with the city when he is sworn into office on Tuesday, Feb. 4.
“People’s eyes light up when they hear ’Stephenville,’” Harris told the E-T during his first local sit down interview at City Hall on Tuesday. “Coming here has always been a dream of mine.”
Harris’ dream of having a career in law enforcement began when he was just a child. In fact, he began collecting police patches when he was seven years old.
Harris is a sixth generation law enforcement officer and the 14th officer in his family.
His great-grandfather was shot and killed in the line of duty as a Texas Ranger.
A 30-YEAR CAREER
Born and raised in Texas, Harris began his law enforcement career with the San Angelo Police Department.
In 1995, he joined the US Border Patrol where he was stationed in El Paso and was promoted several times before assuming command as the chief patrol agent of the academy in Artesia, New Mexico in 2016.
In 2007, Harris was awarded the Border Patrol’s highest award for valor and courage, the Newton-Azrak Award, for providing medical assistance to a deputy sheriff shot during a domestic disturbance call.
The incident resulted in the death of two deputy sheriffs before the suspect was shot and taken into custody.
RUNNING THE DEPARTMENT
The first thing on Harris’ to-do list as police chief is simple: He wants to get to know the men and women inside the department and learn more about the community.
“Chief (Jason) King has done a great job and I want to get to know everyone at the department and find out what they need,” he said. “Then every opportunity I get you will see me on the streets with our officers getting to know members of this community.”
Harris said he will keep an “open door” policy with the firm belief that “truth plus transparency equals trust.”
Harris and his wife Katrina have been married for almost 30 years and have two grown children.