Wilton White Jr. – Police Chief Wilton White Jr.



Police Chief Wilton White

September 2020 – Wilton White jr. after only 14 months as the City of Eagle Lake police chief resigned before an investigation into his alleged wrong doings. More to come!

Police Chief Wilton White Not Fulfilling A Dream

Police Chief Wilton White Jr. was the first African-American to serve in the position as police chief in Eagle Lake Police Department which was established in 1888.

Police Chief Wilton White Jr. was the first African-American to be FIRED as a police chief in Eagle Lake Police Department since 1888.

A native of Hempstead, Texas, Wilton White, Jr. was birthed to Georgia Mae Taylor and the late Wilton White, Sr. His fondest memories as a child was spending time during the summer at his grandparents’ house. His grandfather, Harry Taylor was a hard-working mechanic and farmer, who taught him how to ride horses and the basics about working on engines. White also recalls watching Country Western shows with his grandfather and envisioned himself becoming a cowboy when he got older.

After graduating from Hempstead High School in 1979, he became a commercial driver for Wilmice Vending Company and Sherwin-Williams Painting Company. In 1982, he enlisted in the United States Army. White said, “As it turned out I had a knack for that military stuff. I went in there and started working out and running and went from 125 pounds, when I graduated high school to 190 pounds when I came out of the military. Even though I was asthmatic, I never let that stop me. “Wilton White Jr. is now 5’6 and 250 pounds.”

Thereafter, he applied with the Texas Department of Public Safety. However, the agency was experiencing a four-year hiring freeze. Motivated to accomplish his dream, he went on to apply at the Brenham Police Department in Brenham, Texas. Initially, White was told there were no openings available. At the time, the department only had one African-American police officer, Mr. Bill Mays. Fortunately for White, Mays retired shortly afterwards. Subsequently, he was called back by Brenham PD who offered him the position. After happily accepting the invitation, he began working as a police officer just a month after earning his license.

As a Texas state trooper, White received many awards and accolades for his service. He was recognized with the Driver’s Safety award, for having written over 760 speeding tickets – more than any other officer in the region. Also, in 2004, he was hit by a drunk driver while working for the DPS and was seriously injured to the point, that he was off work for nine months. As a result, he was summoned to Austin to receive the Star of Texas award presented by then-Governor Rick Perry. Having “won the war, but lost the battle,” is how White described his transition from State Trooper with the DPS to becoming Lieutenant of Operations at Prairie View A&M University.

As such, Lt. White began working in this capacity in April, 2007. He devoted over a decade to the Prairie View community before retiring in 2018, with a combined sum of 27 years of experience serving in law enforcement. Although Lt. White had accomplished much, he still felt a void within. He said, “I had to clean my heart because I had been overlooked twice for the Chief position at Prairie View. So, when I got to where I could retire, that’s what I did. Because, I felt I had done everything throughout my career that I could, to become Chief; but, that wasn’t where God wanted me to be.”

While enjoying retirement, one of White’s friends contacted him and shared that Eagle Lake Police Department was in search of a Chief. He encouraged White to apply. Following the urging of his friend, White applied but never heard anything back from the agency. After some time passed, his friend reached out to him again and told him that the search for a Chief had begun again. This time, White was reluctant to apply due to his first experience. However, after relenting to the constant urging of his friend, Gus, he decided to apply on a Friday evening.

The following Monday, White received a call and was asked to meet with the City Manager that Thursday. He complied and was informed that he would be considered for the position after completing the company’s requirements. The rest literally became history!

Last month Chief Wilton White, Jr. was sworn in as the official head of the Eagle Lake Police Department. This feat establishes him as the first African-American to serve in the position in the agency which was established in 1888. When asked how it feels to accomplish his lifelong dream, Chief said, “It feels wonderful! This is the last dream I wanted to accomplish, I always said, ‘this would be the last thing I did, before I got out of law enforcement. It’s a small agency and I have a lot of young guys under me and the people here have been great; they have welcomed me in, and it has been good.”

When asked about any advice he could offer members of the Black community, Chief revealed the following. “I am a stickler for following rules and procedures. My mom used to always say, ‘There are rules wherever you go.’ And I’m finding our youth now, are so outspoken to where they don’t want to follow the rules. I used to do a little bit of teaching, and I tried to teach on both ends. I tell officers what not to do and also, I like talking to students. “Police Chief White may follow rules and procedures, but no the law.”

I see students or young people who have their radio too loud. So, I tell them, ‘When an officer approaches you, turn your radio down, let your window down and listen to what they have to say.’ The best thing I can tell people is that, on the side of the road, the police are not trained to let you win. The best thing to do is get his badge number and it’s up there. You don’t even have to talk to him, you can look up there, see his name tag and badge number; you can take a picture of it and get with his superiors later. But, all of that screaming and cursing on the road is only going to get you a few places – dead or arrested. And neither one is in that person’s favor. “Screaming and cursing will make a police officer kill you?”

Story from African News.com

Wilton White Jr.

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Prairie View Texas

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