Daniel Porter’s experience as a “working chief” will be an attribute to the city of Bellmead as Porter moves into the top spot in the Bellmead Police Department next month, city officials said.
“The opportunity and the location still being in Central Texas area is a why,” Porter said when asked why he applied to be the next Bellmead police chief. “I have a relationship with the other police agencies, sheriff’s departments, state and federal agencies, so I know the folks and have the relationships.
It’s like moving to a bigger house in the same neighborhood.”
Porter, 66, is now police chief in Nolanville, a city of a little more than 4,000 adjacent to Harker Heights on Interstate 14 in Bell County. The city council in Bellmead, with a population of about 10,000, voted unanimously Tuesday to hire Porter at the recommendation of Interim City Manager Yost Zakhary. His start date is Nov. 12, and he will make $86,000 per year.
“I think one of the things that really set Dan apart was his municipal experience and his experience in the private sector,” Zakhary said. “He is a real working chief, and I think it is going to be a great fit for the city.”
Zakhary said Porter was one of the finalists who interviewed with council members and a panel before he made his recommendation to council.
“We will be able to stand toe to toe with the best police agencies,” Porter told council members. “I brought Nolanville up from the ashes and I see that the city of Bellmead has some of the same challenges, but I am looking forward to it.”
Starting in Nolanville in March 2017, Porter established standards for personal conduct, recruiting, hiring, training and professional development. He has more than 35 years of experience in law enforcement and a master’s degree in dispute resolution from Southern Methodist University.
He is a member of the Texas Police Chief’s Association and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
“I want to bring a fresh set of eyes, a fresh perspective to the police department to work with the city government, the community, the city council and the city manager,” Porter said. “I think we all can take Bellmead PD to the next level.”
Former Bellmead Police Chief Lydia Alvarado announced her retirement in April after more than eight years in the position. Retired Texas Department of Public Safety Maj. Danny Smith, who retired from DPS in 2003, has been serving as interim police chief since May.
“Danny really has streamlined operations and provided great customer service to the police department,” Zakhary said. “He has made some key promotions to keep the department moving in a time that Bellmead needed it.”
Zakhary thanked Smith for his dedication and changes he has brought to the department in the past seven months. Smith said after Porter takes over, he plans to take some time and potentially travel with his wife of 46 years.