Dayton City Council expected to pick new police chief on Thursday

Derek Woods

Dayton City Council is set to meet Thursday night to consider hiring a new police chief. On the job officially since Monday, Jan. 3, new City Manager Steve Floyd is wasting no time making a recommendation to fill the vacancy left by the outgoing police chief Robert Vine.

Floyd told Bluebonnet News that he is recommending Jasper Police Lt. Derek Woods for the chief position in Dayton.

“I worked with him 20 years ago and got reacquainted with him last year when he applied for the police chief job in Mont Belvieu,” Floyd said.

Prior to joining the City of Dayton, Floyd was the director of public works for the City of Mont Belvieu.

“When I got the job here in Dayton and our chief quit, I reached out to Derek to see if he was interested,” Floyd said.

As city manager, Floyd makes recommendations for key positions like police chief. However, the city council must approve the decision for it to be final.

“They are on board. I brought him in at the last city council meeting and let the council meet him. We have to hold the formal meeting on Thursday night. If they approve him, it will be a couple of weeks before he starts,” Floyd said.

Woods has been a patrol lieutenant for Jasper Police Department for the last six years. Prior to that, he served in the Criminal Investigation Division for 14 years as a detective sergeant. He began his law enforcement career in 1996 working as a dispatcher and reserve officer for Diboll Police Department. He is a graduate of the Angelina College Police Academy.

“Throughout my career, I have had the opportunity to serve in almost every position within the police department; however, my primary focus was investigations and management. Jasper was my hometown, and I have enjoyed serving the community where I grew up,” he said.

Woods holds a Master Peace Officer certification and is a graduate of the Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (Leadership Command College) through Texas A&M University, Texas Woman’s University and Sam Houston State University.

His wife, Erin, is a CPA and financial advisor. Together they have six children ranging in age from 14 to 25. Their four oldest children are in college and the two youngest children are students at Jasper High School.

“I am excited about the opportunity to serve as police chief in Dayton and look forward to operating the police department in this growing community. I’ve heard nothing but positive things about the Dayton Police Department and the citizens of Dayton,” Woods said.

The Council meeting on Thursday begins at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers inside Dayton Community Center.

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