| |

Grapeland Police Appoints New Acting Police Chief

By Greg Ritchie

Messenger Reporter

GRAPELAND – In a special meeting Thursday, June 6, Grapeland city council voted to appoint Grapeland Police Department (GPD) Sgt. Dale Linebaugh Acting Police Chief, after voting to terminate Richard Lewis in an executive session. 

Linebaugh, originally from Gladewater, began his career as an EMT, before spending several years working as a firefighter and Assistant Fire Chief, then working as a Patrol Sgt. in Anderson County. He was been with GPD since October of last year, being promoted to Sgt. two months ago. He has specialized in narcotics and property theft and worked on various SWAT teams in different locations. 

Linebaugh told The Messenger his number one goal is to make sure Grapeland residents are protected and in compliance with all state laws, although admitting there is a lot to get through to rebuild and reorganize the department. 

Sources confirmed Lewis was terminated due to unspecified breaches of policy. Earlier in the week, another GPD officer was terminated for “theft of time,” allegedly for not performing duties when he was supposed to have been on the job. 

Neither man could be reached for comment. 

Chief Linebaugh was able to announce some important programs the department is already working on, including installing license plate readers on entrances to town, something Linebaugh said could possibly reduce crime in the city by half. The readers detect license plates of vehicles entering or exiting the area and flag those of known suspicious vehicles, allowing GPD to track them and prevent potential crimes. 

Linebaugh was also excited to note Zach Allen would be joining the force in the next two weeks, as GPD’s canine officer. The department will develop its own canine program, thanks in part to support from Darling Ingredients. 

The Messenger also learned GPD has another new officer, Bailey Whitfield joined the force three weeks ago, well-known to Linebaugh since he trained Whitfield in Anderson County. 

Linebaugh confirmed he would soon meet with Grapeland Independent School District (GISD) and their newly-approved police department to offer GPD’s support in their efforts. 

Chief Linebaugh said he had hit the ground running, with plans to conduct SWAT and other training, not only for his own department, but offering training to nearby departments as well. 

Greg Ritchie can be reached at [email protected]

Similar Posts