|Cumby Police add full-time patrol officer|
|Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor|
January 9, 2004 -- For the first time in 20 years, Cumby Police Department has added a full-time police officer to its roster. Kyle Meeks started his new job and the new year with a bang, making a felony drug arrest on his first weekend.
Cumby Police Chief Dewayne Evans said the full-time paid position was created as an added safety measure following citizens concerns with the recent approval of alcohol sales in the city.
This is something new for Cumby," Evans said Monday morning, of the hiring of a full-time officer. "Some of the people in Cumby were in an uproar over the liquor deal The main question that people asked me was 'Are you putting somebody out full time?' We want to do what's right for Cumby and what the people want. I have a full time job and couldn't go full time, so we hired Kyle Meeks. We haven't had a full-time officer in Cumby for 20 years."
Meeks graduated in May 2003 from the 600-hour East Texas Police Academy Basic Peace Officer course. On June 12, Meeks became a reserve officer for Sulphur Springs Police Department, riding with other officers and receiving hands on training on the streets through the end of December, when he resigned to take the full time position with Cumby Police Department.
Although Meeks has only 6 months experience on the street, Evans said he came highly recommended by not only sheriff's officers he had worked with as a jailer in the past, but also by Sulphur Spring Police Chief Jim Bayuk and Cumby Police Officer Thomas Jenkins, who knew Kyle.
"He is the kind of officer that wants to make a difference," Bayuk said. "He played a major roll in calls for service, arrests and assistance to the general public as a reserve officer here. Everybody that spoke of Meeks mentioned his good conduct. He definitely has the basics. He has his feet firmly on the ground and can carry out the duties like any other officer."
"I'm thankful to the chief [Bayuk] for giving me the opportunity to work here and learn from the other officers. They taught me to look for the little things, not to look for just the big things. I'm still learning every day," Meeks admitted Monday morning. "I'm constantly reading up on the traffic laws and criminal laws."
Meeks will train with the other two officers on Cumby's police department, riding with Jenkins and Evans for a while learning procedure and getting more experience.
The San Antonio native's duties as a full time officer will include routine patrol and responding to calls for service while on duty, as well as responding with firefighters to all fire calls in Cumby and assisting residents with their needs, Evans said. Meeks' main job however will be to increase police presence in Cumby.
"We've had a lot of problems at the school, with people driving through there like maniacs," Evans said, who has been with Cumby police for over 10 years. "We have a new one way street and people speed through there. He'll keep a watch there. He'll work nights and afternoons. We're not just going to turn him loose. That's an advantage we've not had before, or for the last 30 years at least. "He'll be with one of us for a while. He's a very knowledgeable person. I realized that this weekend."
His first weekend on the job , Meeks and Jenkins arrested Scott Ralph Land, 34, of East Tawakoni, on the north Interstate 30 service road for second-degree felony possession of crystal methamphetamine for driving while license suspended and on a Hunt County warrant for violation of probation and on a Dallas County theft warrant.