NEW BOSTON, Texas — James Prince has worn the Bowie County Sheriff’s badge for 20 years.
However, as of Friday, he is passing that torch to new Sheriff Jeff Neal and retiring from an extended profession in legislation enforcement.
Prince, 68, served 5 four-year phrases, which is the longest of any Bowie County Sheriff.
He was first elected sheriff in 2000 and took workplace in January of 2001.
“I’ve served two phrases longer than another Bowie County Sheriffs.,” he mentioned. “I have been very lucky and had quite a lot of good individuals working arduous to maintain me in workplace. After I was first elected, I hoped to have the ability to serve eight years and thought it will be nice to serve 12. I had no thought it will be 20.”
He introduced he wouldn’t run once more, shortly after receiving the Banks-McFarlin Lawman of the 12 months award in 2019.
The award is given yearly to acknowledge an excellent legislation enforcement officer in Texas. Prince has about 50 years whole service in legislation enforcement that features 10 years of legislation enforcement within the U.S. Air Power and time on the Sherman, Texas, and Texarkana, Texas, police departments.
He joined the Bowie County Sheriff’s Workplace serving beneath then-Sheriff Thomas Hodge. He continued to function deputy beneath former Sheriff Mary Choate and sought election to the publish in 2000.
When reflecting upon his profession, a few of the achievements he has essentially the most pleasure in are the event of the BASE (Primary Consciousness Security Training) Program, the implementation of a search and rescue workforce and assembling a great group of individuals in BCSO.
In 2006, the Sheriff’s Workplace launched the BASE Program to switch Drug and Alcohol Resistance Training. The BASE Program takes a broader strategy, educating youngsters shallowness, drug security, Web security, fireplace security and gun and outside security.
This system is now taught in 11 Bowie County faculties.
Within the early-to-mid 2000s, volunteers established the Bowie County Search and Rescue Crew that features canines educated to assist discover lacking individuals and return them house.
He’s additionally pleased with the division’s report fixing homicides.
“Over the previous 20 years we have now had solely two homicides the place no arrest had been made. In each of these instances, the suspects are actually deceased. I feel that is an excellent report.”
Prince mentioned he has been lucky to have three glorious chief deputies throughout his time as sheriff: James Manning, Larry Parker and most not too long ago Jeff Neal have all been large belongings to the workplace.
“I’ve had good individuals the entire method down,” he mentioned.
The toughest days of his time as sheriff have been indisputably the deaths of two of his deputies.
Deputy Michael Web page was shot and killed together with his personal service weapon in 2007 throughout a battle with a suspect.
In 2011, Deputy Sherri Jones was killed within the basement of the courthouse whereas making ready to move a prisoner.
“Each of these had been very powerful,” Prince mentioned. “I employed them each to do a job. They had been doing my job,” he mentioned.
Prince mentioned his plans for the long run are nonetheless up within the air.
He thought he is likely to be prepared for retirement however after spending a while in quarantine in 2020, he thinks he won’t be joyful simply sitting round the home.
“That is simply not for me. I’ve labored since I used to be a boy so I might need to search out one other job. I suppose I’ll simply see what occurs.”