This top cop seeks to downplay the history he is making

There seemed to be a certain inevitability to the course that Ed Drain’s professional journey would take him.

He served as assistant chief of police in Plano, Texas, working in the Dallas suburban community for 22 years. Then he got a call about three years ago from Amarillo’s interim city manager, who asked him to come to the Panhandle to serve as the city’s interim police chief; Drain accepted the post.

Then he got hired as the Amarillo’s permanent chief of police.

Only that the term “permanent” is a relative term. Drain is coming back to Plano, this time as the city’s top law enforcement officer. Plano hired him as its first African-American police chief, a designation that doesn’t seem to phase Ed Drain one little bit.

This man’s skin color means nothing to the way he will approach his job, yet Dallas-Fort Worth media have been making a bit of hay over Plano’s decision to bring Ed Drain back to where he spent a lot of time protecting and serving the community. Indeed, I don’t recall the Amarillo media making quite as much noise about Drain’s racial background when he took over as police chief there.

I don’t know Drain well. He and I have spoken over the years. He arrived in Amarillo after I had left my post with the newspaper there. We belonged to the same Rotary Club. We would chat on occasion and I would thank him for the job he was doing as Amarillo chief of police.

He brought back community policing, elevating officers’ profile in the neighborhoods they served. Drain said upon his hiring as Plano’s police chief that he intends to follow that policy at his new job as well. Good call, chief.

Ed Drain is a good man and I am confident he will serve his new constituents in Plano well.

I know this is clichĂ©, but Amarillo’s loss clearly is Plano’s gain.

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