‘Behind the Badge’ town hall meetings kick off in Daisetta

Law enforcement officers who serve Liberty County greeted residents of the community at the first-ever Behind the Badge hosted by Daisetta Police Department and Chief Mike Parrish. Pictured left to right are Daisetta Mayor Eric Thaxton, Daisetta Police Chief Mike Parrish, Daisetta Police Officer Bonnie McLaughlin, Texas Ranger Brandon Bess, Pct. 2 Deputy Constable John Tucker, Pct. 2 Constable Les Hulsey and Liberty County Sheriff's Capt. Billy Knox.

The first in a series of Behind the Badge gatherings planned by Daisetta Police Department and Chief Mike Parrish began Monday night at the Daisetta fire station with Texas Ranger Brandon Bess as the guest speaker.

Bess, assigned to Liberty, San Jacinto and Hardin counties, shared an overview of the Texas Ranger organization, along with its history as the oldest state police agency in the United States.

Texas Ranger Brandon Bess explains the history and purpose of the Rangers at the Behind the Badge event on Sept. 24 in Daisetta.

“A lot of people think DPS (Department of Public Safety) is one unit and the Rangers are another. We are all part of DPS,” he explained to the people who attended the meeting. “The Rangers are the major criminal investigators for the DPS. We are just another piece of Chief [Mike Parrish]’s team or the sheriff’s team during major criminal investigations.”

In Liberty County, he explained, Texas Rangers are involved in 100 percent of the death investigations partly because they are often the costliest cases for rural sheriff’s offices and police departments to investigate. Rangers also are tasked with public corruption investigations for local state elected officials.

He explained how DNA testing has advanced over the years, allowing law enforcement officers to not only track down suspects but family members who have submitted samples to DNA testing services for genealogy purposes.

“I wouldn’t even venture a guess at where we will be in three years regarding DNA testing,” Bess said. “There will be a Liberty County case that we’ll be able to plug that in and solve.”

He praised the DPS crime lab for its competency and expertise in testing DNA and providing experts in criminal trials.

“We have the best of the best when it comes to the DPS crime lab. If any of you have ever served on a jury, you might have seen a DPS expert testify,” Bess said. “By the way they explain things, they can make even a fifth-grader understand DNA.”

Each Ranger Company in Texas has its own SWAT team, Bess told the audience. The SWAT teams are often called upon to assist agencies without a SWAT team and those who need support teams.

“We are proud of our history. We are proud of our heritage. Did you know that state law bans the disbanding of the Texas Rangers? It’s great to look back on all of this history,” Bess said. “Being part of such a group to me is a dream come true. To be able to work with people like [Chief] Mike [Parrish] or the sheriff’s office. I work with the best of the best in the worst of times.”

Parrish announced that the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office is invited to be the guest speaker at the next Behind the Badge gathering on Monday, Oct. 1, starting at 7 p.m., at the Daisetta fire station. The public is welcome to attend.

He then introduced Boyett Taylor, who has started a Crime Watch program called D & H Take Back.

“Boyett gets out and drives around his neighborhood to keep watch on things. He is looking for people who are willing to do the same thing,” Parrish said. “We are all working together. That’s what this is all about.”

Anyone interested in joining the Crime Watch group is asked to contact Boyett by calling 936-641-4918 or Daisetta Police Department at 936-536-6120.

By Vanesa Brashier, editor@bluebonnetnews.com

Boyett Taylor (right) has started a Crime Watch group for Daisetta and Hull called D & H Take Back. He was introduced during a Behind the Badge event on Sept. 24. Pictured with him are Pct. 2 Constable Les Husley, Pct. 2 Deputy Constable John Tucker, Daisetta Police Officer Bonnie McLaughlin, Daisetta Mayor Eric Thaxton and Daisetta Police Chief Mike Parrish.


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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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