6/8/2005 Dawson adds police force of one
By DONELL WILLIAMS Daily Sun Staff
The rumors are true. Dawson is now
the home of a one-person police department.
Since March 7, Dawson has been forming the police department, but the city has
remained quiet until now, waiting to sign an interlocal agreement with the
county for a retired sheriff’s office car. That agreement was signed recently. A
radar unit has also been borrowed from the city of Hubbard until a radar unit
can be purchased.
The lone officer, Nicole McMahan, Navarro County’s first female police chief,
will patrol Dawson enforcing city ordinances after she attends a week long
series of code enforcement classes June 13-17 and will be stopping cars speeding
through Dawson on Highway 31 and Main and Gilmer Streets. Speeding on Main and
Gilmer streets poses a threat to the children and pedestrians in the
neighborhood, city officials said.
“We can pass all the city ordinances we want, but without someone to enforce
them, they don’t do anything,” said Paula Sears, Dawson mayor.
McMahan is dually commissioned through Rice and Dawson. Her commission is
possible through a new Texas law that allows officers to be dually commissioned,
according to Sears.
“We’re very excited to have her on board,” Sears said. “She comes highly
recommended through a background check.”
“I was very glad to see it passed,” said McMahan. “I’ll continue the same work I
do in Rice, which is one day a week as a reserve. They require at least eight
hours each week. I’ll be working here (in Dawson) full-time.”
McMahan is a property owner in Dawson and has two children enrolled in the
Dawson Independent School District, Sears said.
“We wanted someone that was a part of the community,” she said.
According to McMahan, code enforcement kick-started everything.
“Over a year ago, I was appointed as the city’s code enforcer... I realized that
many of the problems could be solved by having a police department,” she said.
The effects of having an officer policing the streets of Dawson are three-fold,
“The first thing is with the code enforcement (and) Dawson will be a cleaner
place,” she said. “People live in rural communities so that their kids can
safely ride their bikes in the street. We have a lot of retired people that walk
for health reasons.”
Also, Sears says that the law enforcement response time should be quicker.
“The county is stretched so thin that having a police department will help
should any of our residents have a need for law enforcement,” she said.
Donell Williams may be contacted via e-mail at email@example.com.
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Originally published in the Corsicana Daily Sun
June 10, 2005
Reprinted with permission of the Corsicana Daily Sun
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Corsicana Daily Sun and Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc,. Content may not be
archived, retransmitted, saved in a database, or used for any commercial purpose without
the express written permission of the Corsicana Daily Sun and CNHI.