Police Department History
Past & Present Police Chiefs
From the City's incorporation in 1900 to 1942, law enforcement efforts were directed by City Marshals.
Historical records indicate John B. Stephens, Sr. was the first City Marshal. He was paid $37.50 a month and he received a portion of all fines collected, up to $60. At that time the Marshal was assisted by one deputy marshal who received $30 a month and a portion of fines up to $45. At some later date, a second deputy marshal was added and a night watchman was employed to protect the citizens from fires and burglars while citizens slept.
John A. Brooks
John Brooks was the first Chief of Police in Mount Pleasant Texas. He was appointed in 1942 and was followed by W.T. Harris.
Willie T. Harris
On May 17, 1949, W T. Harris was appointed as Mount Pleasant's second Chief of Police. In 1950 Chief Harris was earning $2,700 a year while supervising four officers who were paid $2,100 each. Total departmental budget for the year was reported to be $12,789.
Burnice C. "B. C." Sustaire
The department's longest-serving chief, B. C. Sustaire took charge on July 28, 1955. His annual salary was $3,400 and reports indicate a salary of $2,400 for just two officers. A technological advance was achieved on March 6, 1956, when the first two-way radios were placed in service. Prior to obtaining the radios, officers had to watch for a red light atop a police phone box. This light alerted them to call the station for instructions. Chief Sustaire retired in 1984 after 29 years of service as police chief for the City of Mount Pleasant.
Conrad Mars became the department's forth chief in October, 1984, following Chief Sustaire's retirement. At that time the department's annual budget was $700,000. During his tenure additional personnel and equipment were added. The first Records Division was organized and formal training for officers begun.
Ted W. Gibson
Ted W. Gibson, who came to the department in January 1994, was Mars' successor. By then the department employed 40 persons, 29 of whom were sworn officers. Features of Chief Gibson's tenure included Community Policing, Bicycle Patrol, a Police Honor Guard, and a S.W.A.T. team. A budget in excess of $1.4 million was required for the department's operation.
Richard Parker became Mount Pleasant's sixth Chief of Police in January 1999 and served until July 2004. He focused departmental efforts on increased citizen involvement. Examples of this effort include the development and nurturing of a very successful Police Explorer program, Community Policing endeavors, and the Citizen's Police Academy. Additionally, Crime Watch and Crime Stoppers programs are active, and an open communication process has been established, both within and outside the department.
Jay C. Burch
J. C. (Jay) Burch became the departments seventh Chief of Police in January 2005 and served until December 2011. Burch started his police career in DeSoto Texas in 1989 and was police chief in Gatesville Texas prior to coming to Mount Pleasant. During his time as Police Chief, MPPD joined the Character First program focusing on employee quality and character. Chief Burch reinstated SWAT and started a K-9 program. Under his leadership in October 2008, MPPD became only the 9th agency in the state to gain Recognized Law Enforcement Agency status under the Texas Law Enforcement Recognition Program. Chief Burch retired from Mount Pleasant in 2011 to become Chief of Police in Denison Texas.
Wayne A. Isbell
Wayne Isbell was appointed Chief of Police on May 1st, 2012. Chief Isbell started his career in Huntsville Texas in 1984 working at Sam Houston State University Police Department then at Walker County Sheriff’s Office in 1986. In 1988 he was hired and worked at the Arlington Texas Police Department serving for 24 years where he moved up through the ranks managing various functions of the department.
Under his leadership at MPPD, the agency received it’s second and third Recognition status under the Texas Law Enforcement Recognition Program. He created a salary step program for officers and dispatchers, enhanced agency technology capabilities including a new digital radio platform, was the project manager for a new radio tower and technology building, upgraded the 911 PSAP Communications Center, developed a full time Victims Coordinator and Violence Against Women Detective position providing resources to victims of violent crimes, created a Property/Evidence Manager position, re-instituted a patrol bicycle unit, greatly improved the agency SWAT Unit capabilities with enhanced equipment and armored vehicle, created a state of the art UAV Air Support Unit, and created a Clergy and Police Alliance (CAPA) program to integrate the faith based community into the police department community policing concept.
Chief Isbell also enhanced the Animal Services Department by improving the efficiency of shelter operations and animal adoptions through adopting Texas best practices and supporting the creation of a private foundation to assist with animal adoptions and rescues. Through his leadership he was instrumental in getting the city council to approve and build a 2 million state of the art animal shelter where he was the project manager. Chief Isbell left the City of Mount Pleasant February 26, 2020 to work for the University of Texas at Arlington.