Edgewood police chief dies on duty

David Hammonds
David Hammonds(Edgewood Police Department)
Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 9:58 AM CDT|Updated: 22 hours ago
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EDGEWOOD, Texas (KLTV) - The death of the Edgewood police chief was announced Monday night.

According to the Van Police Department’s Facebook page, David Hammonds has died. The police chief’s end of watch was Monday, the post said.

According to Edgewood City Administrator Petra Marley, Hammonds’ death was a sudden shock to the city. The chief was in good spirits the day before his death, and he was found in his office by Lieutenant Robert Dearing. Hammonds and Dearing worked together for many years, Marley said, and the chief died doing what he loved.

Dearing released the following on Wednesday:

“On Monday, the City of Edgewood suffered a tragic loss.

Chief David J. Hammonds received a call from the great dispatcher and answered his final call.

David J. Hammonds began serving the citizens of the State of Texas in April of 1969 when he graduated the Texas Department of Public Safety Academy and began his career as a Texas State Trooper. While employed with DPS, David served in the Highway Patrol, License & Weight and Narcotics divisions working most of his career undercover fighting the scourge of drugs in our state.

After retiring from DPS, David served the citizens of Van Zandt County as an Investigator working for the District Attorney’s Office.

While he was working for the District Attorney, he was approached and encouraged to apply for the Chief’s position at the City of Canton and was subsequently hired.

During his tenure at the Canton Police Department, David oversaw the creation of a narcotics division and a Tactical Team. The narcotics division began to have great success and the Tactical Team earned the respect of neighboring agencies.

After leaving Canton, David briefly served in Grand Saline before being approached about becoming Chief in Edgewood. After serving two years in Edgewood, David resigned with the intention of running to become the Sheriff of Van Zandt County. Losing his bid to the incumbent Sheriff, David served the citizens of Grand Saline and Log Cabin before accepting a commission as a Special Ranger for the Texas Department of Public Safety.

In 2015, David was again persuaded to apply for the Chief’s position with the City of Edgewood and was subsequently hired on September 21st.

David began the task of rebuilding and restructuring the Police Department on day one.

Since taking the reins, David crusaded to obtain funding to acquire the equipment needed to bring the department capabilities up to the standard he felt the citizens of Edgewood deserve.

David was ever present throughout the community being sure the citizens knew he was available to them. He was always ready to console or counsel someone in need or crack a joke if the situation called.

David was selective in the officer’s he brought onboard, ensuring they shared his philosophy of Community Commitment. He believed each of his officer’s were a part of his family and treated each as a son or daughter.

David’s philosophy in life was God-Family-Service.

Trooper, Investigator, Chief, coach, friend, confidant, counselor, mentor, role model, husband and father describe his life.

Husband and Father made him proudest.

To those of us who knew and loved him, he will forever be “Chief”.

After 54 years and two months of duty to the citizens of the State of Texas, Chief David J. Hammonds passed away while doing the job he loved. E.O.W. 9/18/2023″

Marley was unable to confirm Hammonds’ cause of death, though it was believed he died of natural causes.

Multiple agencies around Van Zandt County have been sending their prayers to the Hammonds family, saying he was a man dedicated to the law for decades.