Deputy Chief Retires After 29 Years Of Service - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

3/11/03 - Longview

Deputy Chief Retires After 29 Years Of Service

He became the first African American at the Longview police department to advance to senior administration.

Now deputy chief Darcy Burton is retiring after 29 years.

"That picture was taken in my office after I was transferred to criminal investigation," Deputy chief Darcy Burton describes pictures from his scrapbook he and his wife put together.

Memories of 29 years are in the book from promotions, to community service and even changes in his appearance.

"My appearance then and my appearance now. Now I have no hair. Then I had too much hair," says Burton as he looks at a picture of himself more taken than 20 years ago.

Burton earned his bachelors degree in 1974 and planned to enter law school.

On a whim he applied for the police department.

He has seen a multitude of changes in his career.

"As we progressed we added more officers. We started to get better equipment and we started to avail ourselves to more of the training that's necessary to move an officer from simply being what used to be looked at as a police officer. Someone with no skills and no talents at all who went out and by use of force made arrests and brought people to jail to actually being criminal specialist."

In 1980 Burton was promoted to sergeant.

One year later he became a lieutenant.

In 1984 Burton was made captain.

An accomplishment no other African American had made at the department.

"No person of color in this department had ever risen above the rank of sergeant. My promotion to captain and my final departure rank as deputy chief has been something that never happened in this agency and was probably unheard of in this part of the country."

But despite his success in his career Burton prides himself most on the support of his family.

A family he'll now have more time to enjoy.

Despite his retirement from the police department, deputy chief Darcy Burton doesn't plan to stop working.

He says he'll begin working on his graduate degree and launching into a second career.

Amy Tatum, reporting.

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