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Grapeland PD termination results in new hire

GRAPELAND, August 16, 2013--The City of Grapeland has hired a new Police officer, according to Grapeland City Mayor George Pierson. This officer will complete the hiring which became necessary after recent terminations within the Grapeland Police Department.

In April, the Grapeland City Council decided to terminate the city’s Police Chief, John Smith. At the time, Mayor Pierson stated, “We felt at the end that his operations and management of the Police Department was no longer effective in and for the city of Grapeland.”

Chuck Franklin was named the Interim Acting Police Chief immediately, and in June, the Council announced Franklin would secure the permanent position.

It appeared as if the force was back on target, yet only a few days later, brand new Police Chief Franklin announced the termination of Grapeland Police Officer Wendell Wilcher for unethical behavior.

According to Police Chief Franklin, Wilcher, who had been employed just under a year, was terminated after pictures of a weekend party, at which he was in attendance, showed up on social media websites. The picture in question showed an unknown female subject holding an alcoholic beverage and displaying the officer’s duty belt around her waist. The duty belt is a gun belt which holds the officer’s weapon, taser, and ammunition.

Police Chief Franklin commented that this type of behavior will not be tolerated, and said Wilcher was relieved of his duties immediately.

Now, Mayor Pierson has announced the hiring of a new Grapeland Police Officer, Dan McElhany.

“He’s really sound for the City of Grapeland,” said Mayor Pierson. “I think Chuck, our Chief, made a sound decision in employing him.”

As far as the current state of the Police Department goes, Mayor Pierson says, “We’re on the right road, as you might say.”

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