MAYPEARL

For nearly 27 years, Scott Shepherd combated the narcotics and methamphetamine scenes in Dallas. He is now protecting the student body of Maypearl ISD.

Shepherd moved to Maypearl from Waxahachie in 1999, and it was the district that influenced the move. His two sons even graduated from Maypearl High School.

Two years ago, he decided to retire from police work.

“I was too young to be retired, and this is my community. I thought my experience in Dallas was beneficial. I talked to my wife and ended up applying,” Shepherd explained.

For over a year, Maypearl ISD Superintendent Ritchie Bowling and Maypearl Chief of Police Boyd Norton discussed the implementation of a districtwide police department. Now, Shepherd will establish the program through the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement and will serve as the chief once it's up and running. His first day was Aug. 27.

Bowling shared the application turnout was positive, and it was the tactical experience and the already established relationship with the town that made Shepherd the ideal candidate.

POLICE EXPERIENCE

Shepherd retired from DPD in Sept. 2016 as a senior corporal and was assigned to several units during his career.

He spent approximately 14 years appointed as a patrol officer where he participated in bicycle patrol and was assigned as an undercover narcotics officer. He served four years in the narcotics division where he targeted street-level dealers and lower-level drug houses. He was then promoted to infiltrate and investigate the manufacture and distribution of methamphetamine.

He received extensive training and experience in tactical operations that included hours of combat handgun and fully automatic rifle training, the execution of hard entry search warrants and urban tactical takedowns.

Toward the end of his career, he served on the mounted unit with DPD. In this role, he also was as a trainer and certified TCOLE instructor.

For 15 years, Shepherd led worship at three different churches and currently leads service at First Baptist Church of Maypearl. For the past six years, Shepherd also conducted horsemanship clinics to the public through his private business 4Sherphers Horsemanship.

“I think the strength I have in this job is the tactical training I’ve had with the Dallas Police Department,” Shepherd explained. “My weakness here is that I’ve never started a police department, but fortunately we’ve got a professional network.”

CREATING A DEPARTMENT

Even though Shepherd has never been with a new department, he is confident in the professional network already established that the process of setting up a districtwide police department will run smoothly and effectively.

He noted it will take six to seven months to become an established department through TCOLE.

“The best thing we have going for us is the professional networking with other ISDs that have started theirs. Keene [ISD] has been an absolute resource we use. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel,” Shepherd affirmed.

Shepherd also sought input from the Red Oak ISD chief of police. Through the collaboration with other districts, Shepherd is overviewing templates and walking through the process of how other districts operate. Another significant resource is Norton with the Maypearl Police Department. Norton and Shepherd keep each other accountable and stay on top of the paperwork so the department can be established promptly.

“I do know he is a person of integrity,” Norton said. “He is a good Christian man, and I’m very comfortable and glad to be working with him. I think he is a great asset and I think he’s a great fit and we'll work well together.”

When the relationship between the district and the Maypearl police department was discussed, Bowling clarified the exact title of Shepherd doesn’t read chief of police just yet.

“We are not starting off with an ISD police station,” Bowling explained. “He is actually a reserve officer for the city right now. So that’s why he has a police vehicle right now and can serve as a police officer for the district until the ISD gets the commission established.”

Technically, Maypearl ISD hired Shepherd as the director of safety and security, and once the district police department is commissioned, Shepherd will obtain the title Maypearl ISD chief of police.

A primary aspect of any police officer on campus is the formation of positive relationships with students. Shepherd plans to gain the trust of students and families over time.

Ideally, Shepherd will make appearances at all four campuses daily. So far he’s greeted students in the mornings and said goodbye when released. He also carved time out to patrol during the first week. The majority of his time has been spent updating himself on policies and information on how to create a police department.

“I’m excited to be serving the community I’ve been part of for a long time," Shepherd expressed. "I really am excited to be here and be going through this process. They can hopefully rest assured that I will treat these kids like my own.”

A WORD FROM STUDENTS

Two Maypearl High School students shared their thoughts of having an officer on campus.

Meagan Baggett, a sophomore, said, “I think it’s very comforting for everyone knowing he’s there in case anything did happen and the fact that the school is taking precaution to do this is really cool.”

She shared that before the shootings that took place in the 2017-18 school year the student body was relaxed and now she has noticed the district take significant steps to keep her classmates safe.

Derrick Studer, a senior, said his friends and classmates discuss the school shootings that rocked the American youth. “Before, people thought it’d never happen in Maypearl, but now it’s happened at small schools all over. So you can never be too safe.”

“It makes us all feel a little safer,” Studer affirmed. “You can’t be too safe nowadays especially with how everything is, so it’s good that they are taking all these steps with the cameras and a police chief here.”

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Ashley Ford | @aford_news | 469-517-1450