By Raymond Billy

The Bullard Police Department suffered a small setback in its attempt to grow the force.

Ricky Alexander, who was hired by BPD Chief Gary Lewis in January — bringing the department’s total to five officers — left the force abruptly after only a few weeks on the job. Lewis would not divulge why Alexander resigned.

BPD wasted no time finding a replacement for Alexander, hiring Steven Morris for the post. Morris was one of the finalists for the position that eventually went to Alexander.

Morris has been a BPD reservist for 11 years. He is a recent graduate of the East Texas Police Academy in Kilgore and a resident of Cherokee County.

Lewis was a one-man police force not too long ago.

“Eleven years ago, I had been here 12 years by myself. I’ve been here going on 23 years,” Lewis said. “I did everything. Whatever had to be done, I did — relating to law enforcement activity.”

Lewis was also burdened with the majority of the administrative duties.

“I was the secretary; I did paperwork,” Lewis said. “I kept up with everything.

“I didn’t have a secretary — the city did. She did help us with our reports every now and then but not too much,” Lewis said.

BPD added a second officer in 1996 and since that time, the force has grown more rapidly, Lewis said.

“It was 1999 when we added the third officer. Then, around 2001, I got a school resource officer. It was about every other year that we added an officer.”

Lewis said Morris will make a good addition to the BPD force.

“Steven is a nice individual,” Lewis said. “I think he’s going to fit in real well with us.”