Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

July 2, 2013

Jacksonville Police Department swears in 29th officer

Ben Tinsley
Jacksonville Daily Progress

JACKSONVILLE — On Monday, Andrew Warren Dehart officially became Jacksonville's 29th police officer. He was sworn in to duty  by City Court Judge Pete Menefee.

This is Dehart's first stint as a police officer. A May 31 graduate of the East Texas Police Academy at Kilgore College in Kilgore, he started to work as a patrolman Monday, according to Jacksonville Police Det. Tonya Harris of  the Criminal Investigation Division and records from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education.

The position had been vacant since late 2012 —  after Jacksonville Police Officer Jessie Jordan was hired away by the Texas Department of Public Safety, explained Nancy Jackson, administrative assistant to Jacksonville Police Chief Reece Daniel.

Jordan initially was replaced by a former Tyler officer with roughly two decades of experience. But after the other officer started work on April 1, 2013, it became evident things would not work out.

“The man who was hired was in his 50s,” Jackson explained. “We really thought he was going to be okay. But during his shift — bless his heart — The weight of his gun belt really messed up his back. While he was working that first shift for us, he started suffering excruciating pain and decided he just couldn’t do it anymore. He bowed out the next morning.”

The search for a replacement for Jordan led to Dehart, 32, a native of Alvin and current resident of Troup.

Dehart also is a U.S. Navy veteran with half a decade of service. He possesses a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and is working on his masters, reports show. He has been married for two and a half years to his wife, Sharon.

Dehart could not immediately be located to comment Monday.

Chief Daniel said Dehart's military service will serve him well on the Jacksonville Police Force.

“Andy is a Navy veteran, a family man and he values education,” the chief said. “He is currently working on a master’s degree in criminal justice and has a sincere desire to serve this community.”