LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – The Lubbock City Council will swear in Roger Ellis as the new police chief Thursday. He takes over for Chief Dale Holton who is retiring.
Soon-to-be Chief Ellis says he is humbled to lead the department and has a solid foundation to do so.
Ellis' passion to protect and serve started when he was 20. "I saw an advertisement on an Allsup's window for Lubbock police officers and I thought it looked like fun," he said.
He made the trip to Lubbock from Spur to start a life in public service. "I have a job full of action and to help others and to arrest the bad guys."
He has rotated through the department working patrol shifts, homicide cases, theft cases and has served on the Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force. The 48-year-old is set to take command Thursday.
Assistant Chief Ellis says he never imagined that when he accepted the job with the department that he would one day lead other officers. "It's thrilling and I'm a little nervous."
With more responsibility come more challenges. Asst. Chief Ellis is focused on providing officers with efficient and up to date technology. "It's always a balancing act. Technology is expensive but knowing what we need at the same time balancing that with tax payer resources," Asst. Chief Ellis explained.
Another issue he will focus on is recruiting and hiring qualified officers. He hopes to increase recruitment efforts at universities and colleges. It's an issue, he says, that departments across the country face.
While technology changes constantly, he hopes that at some point in the next ten years LPD can have an onsite DNA lab so officers and detectives don't have to send evidence off.
Chief Holton gave Asst. Chief Ellis some advice, but both held back sharing too much. "Treat people the way you would want to be treated if you were in their circumstances," Ellis shared about what Holton told him.
"One thing that is terribly important to have good people who do the work," said Holton.
Ellis will become the 21st Lubbock police chief and wants to be visible to other officers and lead by example.
"If I'm leaving, I'm leaving the department in good hands," Holton said.
The new chief will be sworn in Thursday at 11 a.m. at Lubbock City Hall. A reception to honor Chief Holton will follow. Chief Holton says it is hard to leave behind the memories and the friendships, but he looks forward to being a full time grandpa.
"I wish I could make them understand how proud I am to be associated with them and how hard they work. That has made my time here much easier," Chief Holton said.
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