It’s simple. The cop loves the country, and the country he happens to love is Comanche, Texas…and did Comanche ever hit a homerun this time!
This week I went inside the Comanche Police Department because I wanted to know why in the world a police officer from the Metroplex would want to move to Comanche, Texas. Why would anyone want to leave the convenience of the city for country living?
Assistant Police Chief, Kelly Davis, took about two seconds to let me know that he and his family could not be happier to be here, coming to us from the city of Mesquite.
“But why?” I asked again.
“I have known Bruce [Chief Bradshaw] for over 20 years, and I worked for him in Mesquite. I worked as a patrol sergeant, a gang investigator, and a homicide investigator. After Bruce came to Comanche, I promoted up for another six years, and it was just time for a change so I went back to patrol for three more years, and then I had just had enough.
“I had put out an application or two to be a chief in a small town, and then Bruce called me and asked if I would consider coming to Comanche as an assistant police chief. Amber [Kelly’s wife] and I started praying about it, and asked the kids [twins, Collin and Brianne] about it. Brianne and Collin wanted to leave that same day!”
And it was at this point that I had to stop him because what high school kids want to leave all that they know and especially their friends behind?
“The twins had a lot of friends from our church and from their travel teams [baseball and softball], but at school they had to walk through multiple metal detectors and security officers every day. We have visited Bruce and Gail here in Comanche for years, and both of them already loved it here.”
At this point, I was reminded of the story Police Bruce Bradshaw shared with me about Collin during the stock show, and I had to laugh, asking Kelly if it were really true or if the chief had exaggerated the story. Apparently it was for real, and went something like this:
Collin came in the office and said, “It was the dangest thing. I went to school, and no one was there. I asked where everybody was, and they’re having some kind of a bull sale!”
I’ve laughed at least a hundred times as I have thought back to this story, realizing what a culture shock our way of life must be at times to kids who have spent their entire lives in the city!
And then I asked why one more time. Why does the new assistant chief like living in Comanche enough to relocate his little family?
“I like country life compared to the Metroplex. They were getting ready to move me back to homicide, and I didn’t want to be there at this point in my career. It is brutal, and I want to do more of what I am doing here. I think I have something to offer in leadership; I am someone who can develop policy, work with a budget, and take a department where it needs to go.
“My favorite thing about Comanche is the much slower pace; the people are much more friendly and more ready to talk. Plus, I get to see my children at night, and I don’t have to worry nearly as much about being called out.”
Kelly went on to tell me that, of course, it will be much better when his wife is able to move to Comanche as well. Amber Davis works for American Airlines, and she is just waiting to receive approval to work from home, hopefully by June at the latest.
‘I think the only changes I see coming all have to do with policy and procedure and becoming more efficient. I don’t see any organizational changes, but I do see us becoming more driven by the best practices, and I think that is important for the city and the officers, which reduces liability for the city.
“Our citizens have to trust us if we are going to get anywhere and have a working relationship between them and the department. I’m big on being at work on time and working when it’s time to work it’s time to work…”
And then I must admit that our conversation moved back to the challenges of rearing twins, of the fact that Ric and I have boy girl twin grandchildren, and that we all believe a great track program is essential if a school is going to have successful athletic programs.
The bottom line is that Kelly Davis may have been a city boy for most of his life, but I can tell that he is going to fit right in with the rest of us here in Comanche, Texas! In fact, I’ll even go so far as to say that in a different generation and a simpler time, Kelly Davis just might have been a Gaston Boykin or a Belve Bean…and that’s about the highest praise as I can give a cop…including Andy Griffith!