Marshall, Texas Police Chief discusses succession plan
MARSHALL, TX (KSLA) - Marshall, Texas, Police Chief Jesus E. "Eddie" Campa is making plans for his police force before his final day on Thursday after he submitted his letter of resignation on Tuesday.
According to the El Paso native, he hopes his successor will continue to follow his five-year strategic "Succession Plan" for his officers.
"The succession plan was to have these people to go these leadership classes," Campa said. "So that they can expand their knowledge on how things are done — not just in Marshall — but in the entire nation, sometimes in the world."
Campa said that while working for the Marshall Police Department, he wanted it to be the premiere departments in East Texas.
"One of my other goals was to achieve the reputation of becoming the East Texas training hub for law enforcement," Campa said. "I think we're very well on the way there, and I hope that my successor will continue that vision. One day I think it would be nice to look back and say that I helped started that."
Campa said his strategic plan also implemented community events including the "No Colors, No Labels" event to promote diversity and "Cool Cops" which served ice cream to children in local parks.
Under Campa, MPD acquired its first MRAP armored vehicle but he said more technological upgrades in the plan need to be implemented.
"Hopefully, the integration of the mobile dispatch terminals which are basically the computers in the car. It's a piece of equipment that should have been in these vehicles 20 years ago," he said.
Officers with the force said that Campa signed a five-year contract and still had two years left.
MPD officials have said that no interim chief has been appointed and that it will fall to the Marshall city manager to choose them.
"The biggest highlight for me will be the relationship we built with this community. I think we got the ground running and we completely changed he outlook for the community on the police department as a whole," Campa said.
"As a police chief, I chose to be an active police chief, one who was out in the community. My philosophy has been looking at the community as one."
Some community members came to the station on Wednesday to bid tearful goodbyes to Campa.
Marshall native Demetria McFarland founded the nonprofit Marshall Against Violence and was also one of the members of Campa's first Citizens Police Academy. She told KSLA she was one of the resigning chief's biggest critics at first but now she's worried about his departure.
"There was no accountability for officers at first until Chief Campa came here and he has made a world of difference in the City of Marshall," McFarland said.
She wants city leaders to hire someone else from outside Marshall to become the next chief.
"To me, it's going to go back to the 'Good Old Boy' system. It's going to go back to the 'Good Old Boy' ways because there are officers that have been here so, to me, I'm really hoping that they will bring someone outside of Marshall," McFarland said.
Campa was sworn in as police Chief on August 18, 2014.
"I'm sad to be leaving this great community that has been a great supporter of mine," said Campa.
Campa said he is resigning to pursue another opportunity and his message to his successor is to put the community first.
"In order to have a successful law enforcement, the foundation of that law enforcement has to be the community because that's the strong point."
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