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Thursday, May 5, 2016

New police chief for Thayer

Thursday, July 31, 2008

(Photo)
Thayer Mayor Merle Williams, left swore-in David Bailey of Thayer as the new police chief in the city July 28. Frank Bernard had to retire as police chief due to health reasons. Photo by Jan Thompson
THAYER -- At a special called Thayer City Council meeting July 21, the council voted to hire David Bailey as the new police chief at Thayer.

This action was taken after Frank Bernard retired as police chief due to health reasons. Bernard served as police chief for 1-1/2 years and worked as a city police officer for 15 years.

Bailey, 55, was born and raised in Senath, Mo. After graduating from high school he went to college for two years at Crowley's Ridge College in Paragould, Ark. After college, Bailey worked for four years on the Frisco Railroad in St. Louis.

After that, he began his career as a law enforcement officer.

"One of the reasons I became interested in law enforcement, I can remember as a teenager being with a group of friends and seeing a bad car accident. The state trooper pulled up, got out of his car, put on his hat and approached the scene. It seemed that people that had gathered near the accident scene just parted at his presence. He was very professional at taking care of business at the accident. I thought then I might be interested in public service," Bailey said.

Bailey first worked for the highway patrol as a commercial vehicle officer for seven years in Steele, Mo. After completing five months of recruitment school in Jefferson City, Bailey became a state trooper in 1984 and was assigned to Portageville, Mo. In 1986, he transfered to Troop G and was stationed in Thayer.

In 1994, he was promoted to corporal and went to West Plains. In 1996, he became zone sargeant over Howell and Oregon counties. He said a zone sargeant oversees the duties and assigns the troopers in a certain area. He said he would usually have 10 troopers to assign.

In 2001, he was promoted to lieutenant, still at West Plains. "As a lieutenant I served as a go-between for troopers and Jefferson City. Some of the areas I worked in included overseeing enforcement programs, make DWI check points, make sure zone schedules were approved and submit budgets to Jefferson City for approval," he said.

Bailey said he basically spent the last six years with the highway patrol in management.

Bailey retired from the highway patrol on Feb. 1, 2007. He said he had always liked living in Thayer and when he bought his home here last year he didn't think about going back into law enforcement.

"I didn't move down here looking for a job. After Frank got sick, I was approached by several members of the community that asked if I would be interested in the position of police chief," he said.

"I am honored and humbled that the mayor and city council would ask me to do this job. I hope I can do a good job for them," Bailey said.

Bailey said he was not going to take the job lightly. "This type of job needs a lot of focus and attention," he said.

Officers working under Bailey will be Michael Bunting, Terry Bounds, James Martin, Josh McDaniel and Kevin Bettis. Dispatchers in the police station are Brenda Todd, Marcie Fuller and Jason Romine.

Bailey said, "I have a goal. In a year or two I want people to be able to say, 'Thayer has an excellent police department.'"



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