Arp Police Chief Scott McAuley can be a bit of a practical joker — and looks at his co-workers as his family. His employer showed its appreciation for him this past week.
On Thursday, the city of Arp recognized the 52-year-old chief for his 30 years of service to the city.
“This was a great honor, and I had no idea. To say the least, I was surprised,” McAuley, a 1981 Robert E Lee graduate, said Friday in a phone interview.
Arp Mayor Damon Nichols said McAuley has been good for the small city of just more than 1,000 residents.
“He means a great deal to us, and his programs such as the Explorer program he started have all been successful,” he said. “He started the K9 program here, and I believe last year our dog was ranked in the top 11 in the nation.”
McAuley said he began his career with Arp in January 1984 after graduating from Tyler Junior College.
“This was my first job in law enforcement, and I started as a part-time officer, but by March of that year I was hired full time. Two years later I was named chief of police, and I have held that position since that time,” he said.
McAuley has been married to his wife, Melanie, since 1985, and the couple has three daughters.
Nichols said McAuley has helped him for the past four years with the Meals On Wheels program Mayor On Wheels.
“It has been an honor to work with Scott. He is a great guy and a good fit for the city,” he said.
City secretary Tracy Pritchett described McAuley as somewhat reserved, but a joker.
“Oh, he has his moments,” she said laughing.
McAuley said he has seen a lot of things during his career in Arp, including a man armed with a rifle on the Texas Highway 64 overpass, a couple of armed robberies and other crimes, but he said he thought a funny story he had to tell involved a speeding motorist.
“I pulled this woman over for speeding and asked why she was going so fast, and she told me she was on her way to pay a speeding ticket. I didn’t give her a ticket, because I try and give original excuses a break,” he said.
McAuley said he has no plans to retire in the near future.
“I plan on working here as long as they will have me. I really love the job, the people I work with now and the people I have worked with through the years,” he said.