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Interim Katy police chief has long history with department, city

January 27, 2019

June will mark the 27th year that Tim Tyler has worked as part of the Katy Police Department.

He recently was appointed interim police chief after 32-year department veteran William Hastings retired from the top post. Tyler started as a patrol officer and advanced through the ranks to assistant chief.

How did you become interested in law enforcement?

I became interested in law enforcement shortly after graduating from high school but also enjoyed the job I was working at (Katy Butane Co.). My desire to buy out that company didn’t work out so I started my pursuit into law enforcement.

What led you to become part of the Katy community?

My parents moved to Katy in 1978 where I started seventh grade at Katy Junior High. While working for Katy Butane I was able to meet a lot of the older families in town and also out on the rice farms.

You and your wife have three children? Have any of your children followed you into the law enforcement field?

My oldest daughter is employed with Harris County Precinct 5 Constable’s Office.

How has law enforcement changed in the 27 years you’ve been in Katy and why?

It has changed a lot. Technology has been the biggest change. When I started in law enforcement we wrote tickets by hand, the hand-held radios weight and shape was like an acme brick and you still had to pull the tabs off the sides of computer paper. All the changes have helped the men and women of law enforcement. The audio and video advances have made it more safe for both law enforcement and the citizens we serve.

How safe is Katy?

Katy is still a safe community regardless of what some of the social media discussion has been. Of course, crime statistics have increased due to the daytime population increasing, but Katy is still safe. Our officers at Katy Police Department have a vested interest with their community. They have their own families who live, work and play in Katy and work very hard to keep us safe.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Knowing that we all do our part to keep Katy (our home) as safe as we possibly can.

What is the most challenging?

As we change so does the criminal element. Because of this we must be flexible in our methods of observation and investigating crimes.

Is it difficult working with other area law enforcement, including state police, constables, sheriff’s offices over multiple counties?

We have a very good relationship with the local law enforcement agencies. We all assist each other in solving crimes that happen in multiple jurisdictions. We have joint training sessions with some of them also. The bottom line is that we are all out here to protect the citizens that we all swore to.

With businesses like Katy Mills Mall bringing in people daily who don’t live here and have easy access to freeway, how difficult is it to curtail property crime by out-of-towners? The department has a substation at the mall?

With Interstate 10 running through Katy it does have an effect on the crime. We aggressively fight this element with the high visibility of our patrol cars and unmarked cars. When a criminal sees our patrol cars moving around the area and stopping vehicles on traffic they tend to feel that it is safer for them to move outside the city to commit crimes. We do not have a sub-station at the Mall but do have officers assigned to the Mall district.

At its January meeting, Katy City Council appointed you interim police chief. What qualities make you a good fit for the position? Special training?

First off, I have lived in Katy for 40 years and know how the citizens expect and deserved their police department to treat them and keep them safe. I have had the distinct privilege to serve the police department under all three of its police chiefs and have learned valuable lessons from each one of them. Coming up through the ranks in the department I have grown and developed my leadership skills at each revolution. I attended the FBI Nation Academy in Quantico, Virginia, and attend the Command Staff Leadership Series every two years at Sam Houston University.

What are challenges facing the police department?

The challenges that we face right now as a department is keeping up with the growth. Last year we were allowed to hire seven patrolmen during this budget year. This was a big boost, however these officer must undergo testing, interviews, background checks and get hired once they pass all of these. They then have a six-month Field Training Program they must pass. So, as you can see it is awhile before we can release them into the city for patrol.

What can Katy residents do to help your department?

If a citizen sees something that doesn’t look right, please call the police department. We would rather go check nothing out than have something happen that could have been prevented.

Do you have a message for criminals?

We have a very progressive police department that are on constant lookout for bad guys or gals. We also have a very talented group of detectives that are good at hunting criminals down if they do get away with a crime in the city. Sleep comes hard when you are constantly looking over your shoulder to see where we are.

karen.zurawski@chron.com

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