Christmas was more than two months ago, but the Maypearl Independent School District gladly accepted a belated black-and-white present for its police department last week.
The city of Grand Prairie has donated a patrol vehicle to the school district’s less-than-2-year-old police force. Grand Prairie Police Chief Daniel Scesney presented the gift, a 2012 Chevrolet Tahoe Police Pursuit Vehicle, to Maypearl ISD Police Chief West Warren and Officer Stephen Davis on Thursday.
“One of our other officers worked for Grand Prairie at one point,” Maypearl ISD Superintendent Ritchie Bowling said. “They applied for it a couple of months ago, maybe three, and they were able to get that. It’s something that the Grand Prairie Police Department does for free to other school districts that have an ISD police.”
Both Bowling and Warren said the vehicle has been outfitted with decals, and Warren said the vehicle is already in service.
"It is in the field now," Warren said. "When they donated the vehicle they pulled Grand Prairie off and pulled of their logo. It came with a light bar, a roll bar and a siren. All we had to do is put Maypearl ISD on the side and our police patch logo on the front fenders. Officer Davis is driving it right now."
The Maypearl ISD Police Department was created in 2018 with the assistance of the MISD board of trustees and superintendent Bowling. Steve Dye, the former chief of police in Grand Prairie who is now that city's deputy city manager, actually worked with Warren with the Arlington Police Department back in the 1980s and early 1990s, Warren said, and Dye provided a connection for Maypearl ISD to obtain a vehicle.
Warren, who is retired from Arlington PD, was hired by Maypearl ISD last August. The district had purchased a vehicle from the city about the time when the department was first formed. But when Warren assumed the job, one of the first needs he and Bowling noticed was a vehicle for additional officers.
“If we were going to have any additional officers, these officers need the ability to be mobile,” Bowling said.
The typical police car is retired at anywhere between 65,000 and 100,000 miles, which can be reached in a short amount of time for agencies that cover a large area. Of course, modern-day vehicles can reliably perform at many more miles than that and so the unit can remain quite useful in other capacities.
Warren said the vehicle is a little over 100,000 miles but it is still in outstanding shape. The duties of the school district PD won't cause much wear and tear either as it will primarily patrol the campuses, the agricultural building and administration building. The only time the vehicle will leave town is for training classes.
“It is mechanically sound and came with an excellent maintenance record," Warren said. "The Grand Prairie Police Department maintains their vehicles in an excellent manner.”
The MISD PD now has two full-time officers and a reserve officer, which gives the Maypearl municipal police a huge boost. The Maypearl PD is small with one or two officers, and Bowling said the extra coverage is a major boon to the community.
The MISD officers are also very beneficial on campus, which pleases the MISD superintendent.
“It’s going really well,” Bowling said. “They’ve done a lot of programs and safety and security things for our school and going out and doing some training. With the state of House Bill 3 and a lot of the new laws that have passed in this last (legislative) session, there’s a lot of new things coming down with safety and security, and how the police chief and police officer can assist us with all of those items.“