Dayton lauds retiring police captain for 25 years of service

Dayton Police Capt. John Coleman (center) is retiring, which should free him up to spend more time with hobbies. He was presented a book on raising chickens by his friends in the Texas Rangers. Pictured left to right are Ranger Christopher Cash, Ranger Joe Haralson, Coleman, Ranger Brandon Bess and Ranger Ryan Clendennen.

Dayton Police Capt. John Coleman is moving on after 25 years with the City of Dayton police department. A celebratory reception was held in his honor Thursday night at the Dayton Community Center with his family, friends and dozens of his peers in law enforcement in attendance.

Coleman’s interest in law enforcement began while working for the county jail in 1992. After graduating from a law enforcement academy, he became a licensed peace officer at the age of 20 in 1994.

“That was the last year that you could become a commissioned peace officer under the age of 21. The rules changed after that year,” Coleman said.

John Coleman is presented with badges and patches that represent his 25 years with Dayton Police Department. Pictured left to right are Capt. Shane Burleigh, Sgt. Kris Seibert, Coleman and Jackie Ennor.
John Coleman is joined by all of the law enforcement personnel who attended his retirement celebration on Thursday at the Dayton Community Center.

He joined the Brazos County Sheriff’s Office as a patrol deputy in 1994 and took a position as a warrant officer under the Cops Fast Program in 1995 at Dayton Police Department under the late Chief Buddy Bean. After working as a field training officer for a number of years, he was named a sergeant in 2001 by Chief Pete Douzat. In 2017, he was named a captain by former Chief John Headrick, a position he held until his retirement. He most recently worked with Chief Robert Vine.

While he is retiring from the City of Dayton, Coleman isn’t giving up his career in law enforcement. Starting in January 2021, he will be the new bailiff for County Court at Law No. 2, working with future County Court at Law Judge Wes Hinch.

Coleman said he will miss the family-like atmosphere of working for the City of Dayton, but he is looking forward to no longer being on call 24 hours a day.

“I think I will be in good hands and be in good company with Judge Hinch,” he said.

To the citizens of Dayton, Coleman offered his sincere gratitude for their support over the years.

“I just want to thank the community for allowing me to be a part of their lives during some of their highlights and their times of sorrow. I thank them that they trusted me enough to call on me,” he said.

At the retirement party, City Manager Theo Melancon said he is looking forward to working with Coleman on his future endeavors as a citizen of Dayton.

“I know you will be doing some great things in the future. I hope that what you see in this room, with all of these people, gives you an idea about the lives you have touched,” Melancon said. “I think these people here represent a small percentage of people who can attribute some grace and some good tidings to you. Thank you very much for everything you have done as a public servant.”

Having worked for the City of Dayton for 25 years is something he will cherish, Coleman said.

“Everyone says, ‘You do a great job’ and all that, but it’s easy to do a great job when you work for great people in a great community. The citizens of Dayton, Texas, are great people. They accepted me with open arms. I appreciate everything you all have done for me. You have helped me grow as a person and made me have higher expectations from people, including myself. I thank you very much.”

Attending the retirement celebration for John Coleman on Thursday were Kelly Waterman and Will Carter, representing U.S. Rep. Brian Babin, future County Court at Law No. 2 Judge Wesley Hinch and famed Texas Ranger Joe Haralson, the longest-serving Texas Ranger in the history of the Ranger program.

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