GOLIAD – When Roy Boyd sold his 1968 Dodge Comet he never looked back.
He was 19. With the money from that sale to pay for his police academy training, his life entered a new chapter whose theme began when he was in high school.
One evening, he heard the sound of shooting from a friend’s place about a mile away. “There was a lot of shooting,” Boyd remembers, “which was unusual.”
He went to his friend’s home and found him on the bank of a pond firing a pistol at a target.
“What are you doing?” he asked his friend.
“I’m practicing. I’m going to a police academy.”
Boyd says he didn’t think much about it at the time, but the shooting practice triggered something. He soon found himself going to Port Lavaca and riding shifts where his friend now was on the force.
“That’s what sparked my going into law enforcement,” he says.
He graduated from the Victoria College academy in 1993 and applied to join the Victoria Police Department.
“There were 120 people being tested for three positions,” Boyd remembers.
Boyd scored second highest and thought he was on his way, until he was told that because of diversity needs, he wasn’t eligible for hiring because he was white.
“But,” the interviewer asked, “will you take a civilian position?”
“Mister,” Boyd responded, “I’ll clean the toilet if that’s what it takes to get my foot in the door.”
It’s possible that the man’s reply was a foretaste of the law enforcement career that was just beginning: “That’s the attitude we like to hear.”
That attitude is the common denominator that links a quarter of a century of law enforcement experience and honors (See announcement story).
Such attitude seems inherited. Boyd’s Texas legacy extends back seven generations.
“My great-great-grandfather was a Texas Ranger before he shipped out for World War One,” Boyd says. “Five members of my family died in the Texas Revolution; four with Col. Fannin; one at the Alamo.”
Many are the flavors of history.
“I’ve carried a variety of weapons in my career,” he says “but in the last 10 years I have taken a real liking to the Colt 1911. I have a few; some of them are polished. My nicest was a gift from a friend. It has old Mexican coins in the grips and some stones as well.”
Boyd retired from the Victoria Police Department as the assistant chief after 20 years of service.
Victoria County Sheriff T. Michael O’Connor made him a proverbial offer he couldn’t refuse.
And, it was time.
“When I first was hired, the Victoria Police Department was one of the biggest in this region,” he says. “We felt that everything we did was right. Just because we did it one way didn’t make it right. We all want to see things from our own perspective. And, we want to assume that we’re right. But, if you don’t take the time to go see the practices of others, you never are going to learn if you’re doing something wrong; you just continue to do it wrong.”
Turning to his campaign, the Goliad resident says he bases his campaign on three points aimed at increasing the professionalism of the Goliad Sheriff’s Office:
•Accountability. He favors forming a citizens advisory committee to meet once a quarter or every six months. “It would take a look at our calls, take a look at our practices, look at our training and encourage getting outside opinions.
“Historically,” he says, “local law enforcement has operated as if we work on an island, that we are our own island, that every jurisdiction is its own island. That’s an old concept that no longer applies. Criminality has changed. The methodology of selling drugs has changed. (For instance, he says it’s now cheaper to buy meth from Mexico than to buy the ingredients to make it at a lab in the states.) We’re no longer dealing with local crooks. There’s connectivity across the board throughout the region, throughout the state and all the way into Mexico for our local problems.”
•Resources – maximum, use of law enforcement grants at the state and federal level.
•Pro-active law enforcement – which Boyd defines primarily as drug enforcement.
“Drugs has to be the priority in law enforcement,” he stresses, “because it is your main driver. Almost all of crime stems from drugs. If you can create an environment where dope dealers are uncomfortable, then either they will avoid the activity or they will go somewhere else. Drug enforcement is labor-intensive and a resource-intensive operation, but it is something you have to do and have to find way to do it. I do not tolerate drug dealers.”
A measure of his determination? “I like challenges. I cannot stand to be bored; I have to be moving forward. Complacency is the key to defeat, and I can’t stand it.”
Bill Clough is the Goliad editor at the Advance-Guard Press and can be reached at 361-645-2330, or at goliad@mySouTex.com.