Gainesville says goodbye to police chief

By  | 

GAINESVILLE, Tex. -- For 27 years Carl Dunlap has protected and served the city of Gainesville. Now it's time for the chief to turn in his uniform for something he holds dear to his heart.

Dunlap has accepted an investigator position for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

Some call it a journey. Others call it life's ambition. But the road to law enforcement wasn't always clear for Carl Dunlap.

Dunlap's idea of a career was teaching and coaching football. After six weeks as a student teacher, things changed quickly.

So he took a job in criminal justice as a Hunt County Deputy Sheriff, and then in 1980, a career move he couldn't pass up came along: assistant police chief in Gainesville, Texas.

That's where over the next two-and-a-half decades, Carl Dunlap learned life lessons, becoming police chief six years later.

Of course he says there will always be the horrific stories of crime, and Mother Nature has thrown a few at him as well, but it's the flood 1981 that will stick with Dunlap forever.

Health has also taken toll on the chief. In 2003, a liver transplant almost cost him his life, but a young man killed in an accident saved him.

Within in the last ten years things have changed at the Gainesville Police Department. Moral is up, the building has seen a makeover, and technology upgraded

"And I think that's why we're so good at what we do because of these improvements," said Dunlap.

But it's the people that have a lasting impression.

On Friday, Chief Dunlap will close another chapter in his life, and someone else will open a new one in theirs.