Wells reinstates city police department

by By Cristin Parker news@mediactr.com

Outlaws beware! There’s new law enforcement in town in the city of Wells.

City officials recently reinstated the city’s police department and hired Police Chief Harold Rapsilver in March.

Since March, the department has grown by one full-time officer and one part-time officer. City officials plan to add one more full-time officer within the month, allowing 24-hour law enforcement coverage for the city.

“The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office was taking care of calls from this area, and they did a great job, but it takes a while to get from Rusk out here to Wells. We didn’t want to have to wait on response,” Wells City Secretary Melanie Williamson said.

The city has been without a city police department for about seven years, due personnel issues and budget cuts.

“We always had plans to get our police department back,” Williamson said. “But we opted to wait until our new city hall was finished before building the department up again.”

The former Wells City Hall was demolished to make way for Texas Department of Transportation’s U.S. Highway 69 expansion through Wells.

Wells police are already working hard to make sure drivers and workers are safe within the construction zone.

Williamson said the city had funds left over from the previous department, which helped to reestablish the department during this budget year.

City officials are looking at starting the budget process for the upcoming fiscal year in the next few weeks.

“It seems like our citizens are happy about it,” Williamson said.

Wells resident Hunter Grayson told an area ABC-TV affiliate he found out the department was back after receiving a traffic ticket.

"Oh yeah. I got a ticket. But, you know, it's because I broke a rule. But that's how it goes,” Grayson told KTRE channel 9. "It's nice that we have an actual police department around to keep an eye on everything.”


Khyati Patel contributed to this article.