Estes elevated to chief, Southard takes full-time status
TRINIDAD–Trinidad has a new police chief, Adam Estes, who was appointed to the position Feb. 21 by the town’s mayor, Larry Don Estes (no relation), after the resignation that day of former chief Richard Smith.
Adam Estes, who previously served as a Trinidad patrol officer responsible for code enforcement, will have his appointment subject to approval by Trinidad City Council during its regular monthly meeting Tuesday, March 19. Former Trinidad reserve police officer Brett Southard was elevated to full-time status after Estes took over the department.
Chief Estes, who graduated from Athens High School in 1998, said his two-man department also is supplemented by three reserve officers, with hopes to add three or four more reserves. Estes also said he would continue code enforcement until Southard receives the necessary training to take over the function.
Estes has been a peace officer about 11 years, including a 2008-14 stint with the Chandler Police Department, where he left as administrative sergeant over code compliance, and with Trinity Valley Community College (TVCC) in Athens from 2015-18, where he finished as an investigator with rank of sergeant before coming to Trinidad.
Estes said he would take each complaint seriously while making a “positive impact” on the community. “My door is always open,” he said. “I think in the past that citizens have been hesitant to come talk.”
Estes said his officers would be “out and about” in the schools, businesses and community. “I take it all very seriously and will try to resolve it the best I can,” he said, while “recreating the bond” between the department and citizens, perhaps by holding block parties.
“It’s important that we all feel that family environment, and I think it’s been missing for a while.”
Officer Southard has roots in Navarro County and also formerly served as an officer with the TVCC police department. On Southard’s second full-time day as a Trinidad police officer, he discovered an abandoned ATV that turned out to be stolen.
Through Southard’s efforts of tracing the vehicle identification number (VIN), the ATV was returned to its owner. “When I notified him (the owner), he went, ‘You have it?’” Southard recounted. Upon confirmation that it was his ATV, the owner “was tickled to death,” Southard said.
“I’m firm, I’m fair and I’m consistent with how I do my job,” Southard said. “I will get out there and do the public relations work. I’m all about community policing. We have an open-door policy. Just come in and talk to us and we’ll listen to you.”