Retired Texas Department of Public Safety Maj. Danny Smith will take over as Bellmead’s interim police chief after Chief Lydia Alvarado leaves the position at the end of the month.
Bellmead Interim City Manager Yost Zakhary announced his choice Tuesday for Smith, a 32-year DPS veteran, to fill the role after Alvarado announced April 1 that her last day of service would be April 30. Zakhary said Smith will start with the city Monday and be sworn in as interim chief on May 1.
“I am really excited to work with the people in the police department and the citizens,” Smith said. “I know most of the police officers in the area, because I have worked with them in one way, form or fashion, so it’s almost like a homecoming.”
Smith retired from DPS in 2003 before he became the first director of the McLennan Community College Police Academy after the program was rebuilt in 2004. He also worked as the division chair of the Emergency Services Education Center.
“I talked to about six people and narrowed it down to three,” Zakhary said. “I’ve known Danny for about 30 years and I worked with him when he was a major. I know his work ethic, I know his dedication to law enforcement and I know he understands law enforcement as well as anybody in the state of Texas.”
Smith is a decorated Vietnam War veteran who served as supervisor to 460 employees at DPS. He said he was not expecting to step into the interim role until the opportunity presented itself last week.
“This was just an opportunity I couldn’t turn down, and I look forward to getting in there and seeing what I can do,” Smith said. “I do not have any agenda, but I just hope to keep working with the good officers in any way I can.”
Alvarado is retiring after 32 years in law enforcement, including almost eight years as Bellmead chief.
Zakhary said the city has received more than 40 applications from almost 15 states to fill the police chief role. He said he expected Smith to serve as interim chief for three to four months before the city chooses a permanent chief.