DENISON, TX-For part two of the People of Texoma series, you'll meet one of Texas' longest serving peace officers who's been on the job for more than six decades and is still going strong!
Eighty four year old Grayson College Police Capt. B.F. Wade has been a Grayson county peace officer since the end of World War II.
Wade is still patrolling his beats, more than 63 years after he started wearing the badge. He said a lot's changed throughout his years in law enforcement.
"We were spread pretty thin but there's a great support of the public, the people supported you, they respected you. We lost a lot of that in this day and time," he said.
After serving in World War II as a Navy officer, Wade started his law enforcement career at the Sherman Police Department in 1949--when there were only 16 officers.
"The training then for a Sherman police officer was one day on the streets with an old detective named Bevo Atnip," he said.
In 1951, Wade joined the Texas DPS as a state trooper, a title he held for 33 years. He saw changes in uniforms, technology and patrol cars.
"You didn't see patrol cars in our days with radar, cameras, computers, you saw cars with no turn signals, no seatbelts," he said.
Wade and his partner were two of the troopers trained on the very first breathalyzer, not a job for the faint of heart.
"We flipped a coin, Buddy wanted to and I wouldn't let him, I outranked him," he laughed. "It was designed to let you know how you feel when you're intoxicated and so you know how they feel. And so we did and we got drunk," he said.
That experiment led to the use of the now commonplace tool.
Wade also met his share of U.S. Presidents.
In 1961, he accompanied former President Harry S. Truman to Sam Rayburn's funeral in Bonham.
"I was elated and appreciative of the fact that I got to meet him and got to talk to him and visit with him...but it's just another assignment."
After 33 years as a state trooper, Wade retired in 1984. But he just couldn't stay away, returning to law enforcement as a U.S. Marshal and Federal Court Bailiff, finally retiring again in 1992.
It was no surprise to anyone who knows Wade, that retirement didn't stick.
He jumped right back into a career with Grayson College Police, where he's been an officer for the past 21 years training rookies and sharing words of wisdom.
"I've always operated with the theory of honest, consistent and fair. If you're honest with the people and you're fair with everybody regardless of color, kind of car or their social standing. You need to be fair with everybody," he said.
Something that Grayson College Police Chief Andrew McPherson appreciates and respects.
"His principles really resonate with me, his principle of fairness and consistency and that's kind of one of the ways I try to run the department is that we're consistent in our manners," he said.
Sixty-three and a half years on the road, working his beats and wearing his badge, Wade said he's not slowing down.
"One day the wife said it's time for you to quit and then the next day she said 'what's Andy's telephone number? You're too much trouble here at home.'"