Brookshire donation will help book on area police history be pub - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Brookshire donation will help book on area police history be published

Posted: Updated:
From left, President and CEO of Brookshire's Grocery Co. Rick Rayford, treasurer of the Smith County Historical Society Sam Kidd, From left, President and CEO of Brookshire's Grocery Co. Rick Rayford, treasurer of the Smith County Historical Society Sam Kidd,
TYLER (TYLER MORNING TELEGRAPH) - A book documenting the history of the Tyler Police Department is expected to hit online books shelves after the first of the year.

Charles Steen, who worked for the department from 1978 to 1991, said he has spent two years interviewing and compiling the stories that make the history of the Tyler Police Department. He said he interviewed 80 officers and former officers and collected 750 photos, about 500 of which he said came from families and have not been seen by the public.

He left to work in Palestine, where he retired after 18 years, and he currently works on The University of Texas at Tyler's police force.

"Tyler was always the love of my life, and I loved working for the Tyler Police Department," he said. "I always thought if someone would write a book on Tyler, I'd buy it no matter what the thing cost."

Steen also wrote a book documenting the history of the Palestine Police Department, and decided if no one was going to write a book on Tyler, he would step up to the plate.

"I said, 'You know I'm going to do it to give back to the community,'" he said. "The community has a wonderful heritage. There were a lot of good men who wore uniforms."

In total, Steen wrote 1,510 pages of history, which will be published in three volumes.
Each full-color edition will cost $49.99, and the proceeds will go to the Tyler Police Foundation, which works to provide, equipment, training and other resources to the department and its officers, as well as support for families of officers killed or injured in the line of duty.

Volume 1 will cover the history from 1865 to 1965, as well as the use of motorcycles in the department.

Volume 2 will cover 1966 to 1982 as well as detectives, SWAT, K-9 units, reserve officers and dispatchers and civilians in the force. Volume 3 covers the years 1983 to 2012, as well as biographies on every police chief, city marshal and chapters on each of the department's fallen officers.

Steen said he was given the printed proofs of the book this week, and depending on how long editing takes, the book will be available between January and February. It will be available at Amazon.com and at Tyler paper.com. A digital version will not be available.

Tyler Police Chief Gary Swindle said officers have a great since of pride in their work and even when they leave the profession, they miss it.

"It's like you become a part of a big family — that's what we wanted to capture," he said. "Really (it's like a) family album. It will live forever."

He said it includes the names and stories of the four officers who have fallen in the line of duty in the department.

The officers include Malcolm J. Buie, who was stabbed in June 1946; Burl Whittington, who was injured in a car accident during a police chase in May 1955; Milus Nichol, who died in a car crash in October 1962; and Eugene Vickers who was struck by a car while directing traffic in March of 1963.

Steen said the story that will have Tylerites driving to see history is the story of Whittington's death.

He said the officer was in a high-speed chase on Old Bullard Road at speeds of more than 90 mph, when the suspect went over a bridge in the road over a creek.

"When he hit the bridge, he became airborne and sailed 60 feet through the air and hit a tree about 15 feet off the ground," Steen said. "Unfortunately Burl died but the tree survived, and the tree is still there, and you can see where he hit the tree."

He said the mark looks like a limb was cut off the tree, when it is actually a scar from the collision.

Steen said he was asked to shorten the book, but he refused.

"I love all the stories in there," he said. "I said, 'I'm not cutting a single story out of this book,' and I think the public is really going to love reading (it)."

The funding to print the book was provided through donations from Brookshire's Grocery Company, the Smith County Historical Society and private donations.
  • Local NewsMore>>

  • UPDATE: Thomas Liles indicted on tampering with physical evidence in Quitman toddlers death case

    UPDATE: Thomas Liles indicted on tampering with physical evidence in Quitman toddlers death case

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 5:20 PM EDT2014-09-16 21:20:10 GMT
    Thomas Liles (photo: Wood Co. Jail) Thomas Liles (photo: Wood Co. Jail)
    UPDATE: QUITMAN (KYTX) - A Wood County grand jury has indicted Thomas Wayne Liles on a charge of tampering with physical evidence after his girlfriend's children were found dead July 24, 2014.More >>
    UPDATE: QUITMAN (KYTX) - A Wood County grand jury has indicted Thomas Wayne Liles on a charge of tampering with physical evidence after his girlfriend's children were found dead July 24, 2014. More >>
  • Obama outlines expanded plan to fight Ebola

    Obama outlines expanded plan to fight Ebola

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 5:03 PM EDT2014-09-16 21:03:55 GMT
    (Photo: Mandel Ngan, AFP/Getty Images)(Photo: Mandel Ngan, AFP/Getty Images)
    Calling Ebola a threat to both global health and national security threat, President Obama said Tuesday he is sending 3,000 troops to West Africa to help contain the deadly virus and prevent it from spreading to the United States and across the globe.More >>
    Calling Ebola a threat to both global health and national security threat, President Obama said Tuesday he is sending 3,000 troops to West Africa to help contain the deadly virus and prevent it from spreading to the United States and across the globe.More >>
  • Peterson's attorney responds to new allegations he injured another son

    Peterson's attorney responds to new allegations he injured another son

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 9:18 AM EDT2014-09-16 13:18:09 GMT
    HOUSTON (KHOU) -- New accusations against Adrian Peterson come from another mother who has another four-year-old son of Peterson, and also involve Peterson striking his boy as a form of discipline.Peterson's attorney Rusty Hardin responded with the following statement:The allegation of another investigation into Adrian Peterson is simply not true. This is not a new allegation, it's one that is unsubstantiated and was shopped around to authorities in two states over a year ago and nothing came...More >>
    HOUSTON (KHOU) -- New accusations against Adrian Peterson come from another mother who has another four-year-old son of Peterson, and also involve Peterson striking his boy as a form of discipline.Peterson's attorney Rusty Hardin responded with the following statement:The allegation of another investigation into Adrian Peterson is simply not true. This is not a new allegation, it's one that is unsubstantiated and was shopped around to authorities in two states over a year ago and nothing came...More >>
Powered by WorldNow

CBS19, MYTX & KCEB
2211 ESE Loop 323
Tyler, TX 75701
Phone (903) 581-2211
Fax (903) 581-5769

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KYTX. All Rights Reserved. Users of this site agree to the Terms of Service, Privacy Notice/Your California Privacy Rights, and Ad Choices.