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My name is Grace Coleman. I am the Assistant Chief at the University of Texas at Tyler Police Department. My law enforcement career began at UT Tyler Police Department under Chief Mike Medders. In 2009, I was hired on as a Guard. I left the department in 2011 to work for the City of Longview Police Department, where I stayed until 2019. At the Longview Police Department, I gained an immeasurable amount of experience, knowledge, and wisdom. I began as a patrol officer and quickly worked my way up to the rank of Patrol Sergeant. I became the first African American female Patrol Sergeant for the department. It was in the role of supervisor that I learned the importance of leading and developing others.
In August of 2018, I lost my husband and best friend. I became a widow and single mother overnight. After my husband’s passing, I realized I could no longer work for Longview Police Department and that I needed a change. I needed stability, not just for me, but for my young daughter. I believe with my whole heart; my next move was my best move. I came back home. You see, not only had I previously worked at UT Tyler Police Department, but I am a proud alumna. I obtained my undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice, with a minor in Pre-law, and my first graduate degree in Human Resources and Development.
Upon my return, Chief Medders and the UT Tyler Police Department family welcomed me back with open arms. It is a pleasure for me to come to work everyday with an amazing group of people. In my current role, under the direction and guidance of Chief Medders, I would like to continue to uphold the oath I took as an officer to protect and serve. I am learning so much from Chief Medders and I am appreciative that he is willing to share is knowledge and experience with me.
Even more so now, I understand the knowledge and wisdom I gain throughout my law enforcement career should be passed down and shared with the next generation of officers. I realize I will not be able to do this job forever. So, it is my responsibility to train up those coming behind me to do it better than I did. To be better than I was. My career is my law enforcement legacy. I want to look back one day and say that I made a difference.
In conclusion, I would like to share a scripture that has become important and truly meaningful to me throughout my law enforcement career, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.”