PRINCETON — For the past few months, Tim Gray has been professionally known either as deputy chief or acting chief of the Princeton Police Department. On Monday night, the title he accepted had no modifier, as he took the oath of office as Princeton’s newest police chief from City Clerk Ken Clay.
Gray, a 17-year veteran of the PPD, was first appointed to fill the new deputy chief’s position in November 2017 by then-Chief J.W. Howell Jr., then became acting chief earlier this year, upon Howell’s retirement.
After delivering the police department report, Gray said, “This is probably the best day of my career. I want to thank you again for your faith in me. I want to thank God and my wife, plus Bill Seaver for getting this ball rolling in the first place more than 16 years ago. I also work with a great bunch of guys, who respond to calls day and night, no matter what the weather is like.”
Later, the new PPD chief said he wished to express his appreciation to the officers at the department who allowed him to excel in his new position.
“From the captain to the patrolmen who work out in the streets every day, we have a great group of officers who make this possible,” he said, also thanking the four former chiefs he had worked with throughout his career: R.C. “Casey” Martin, W.L. “Bill” Harman, P.V. “Paul” Powell and J.W. “John” Howell.
Gray also called out two former PPD officers who took him under their wings as a younger officer and taught him much about what it means to be a good, fair and thorough policeman in a small town.
“Jeff Gilley was my training officer, and he was a good person to start my career with,” he said.
He also offered his appreciation to retired Sgt. Allen Peery.
“It’s just been a good cast of people to work with over the years,” he said.
Though there were several people in the audience Monday night cheering on his promotion, Gray said there were two absent that he’ll forever miss. They passed away almost two years ago, just weeks apart.
“The only things that were missing were my mom and dad,” he said. “Without my mom and dad, I would’ve never been in the place I am now.”
Gray recalled that his father made a career as a Church of God minister and raised him amid the faith that everything that transpires in life is God’s will. As such, he believes that all of the decisions in his life and the things that happened throughout his career and those around him led to this point in life.
He couldn’t end the interview earlier this week without expressing appreciation to the City of Princeton and its leaders.
“The City of Princeton and the people of Princeton have been good to me over the years. They’ve helped me raise my kids. They’ve helped me pay my bills, and they’ve helped me feed my family,” he said. “Now, this is my chance to give back to them. I want to thank the City Council, the City Manager Mike Webb and Mayor David Graham for putting their trust in me.”
In other Council news:
• Mayor David Graham presented a resolution honoring Kayla McKinney for her receipt of the Prudential Spirit of Community award for her volunteer community service.
• Graham also declared Monday as Native America Appreciation Day in the City of Princeton.
• On motion of Vice Mayor Tim Ealy and second by Councilman Marshall Lytton (Councilman Jim Hill abstained), Council approved the purchase of a Skytrac lift for use at the Public Works Department at the Dean Company site.
• On motion of Ealy with a second by Hill, the Community Improvement Commission was authorized to put in four receptacles for dog waste along Mercer Street.
• On motion of Ealy with a second by Hill, the relocation grant was amended to cover incidents after hours or on weekends.
• On motion of Lytton with a second by Ealy, the April 2018 financial report was approved.
• On motion of Lytton with a second by Hill, the ninth FY 2018 budget revision, bringing the operating budget to $8,202,967, was approved.
• B & O Tax incentives for Dixie Springs Resort & Spa; Game Central; Sophisticated Hound Brewing Company; Akers Financial Services; and Starry Eyes Media were approved on motion of Lytton and second by Ealy.
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