Calling the Shots
On my honor, I will never betray my integrity, my character or the public trust. I will always have the courage to hold myself and others accountable for our actions. I will always maintain the highest ethical standards and uphold the values of my community, and the office I serve.
The Law Enforcement Oath of Honor
Sworn officers play a vital role in maintaining safety and face many things every day that put them at great risk. The role they have stepped into is often a hard one and they do the dirty work to shield the rest of us from having to think about it. Often, we focus on the “good guys versus the bad guys” aspect of their role, but their job is more than that. It is equally about helping to maintain community quality of life. So much of what they do is really more about the “good guys helping the rest of us good guys” build a community we can be proud of. It is at its core a job of service. We see this service brought to life every day through the example of our very own celebrated Detective Alan Bailey of the Texarkana, Texas Police Department. His job requires him to deal with the hardest of the hard during the day, and at night he continues giving of himself working with the city’s most innocent, our children.
A native of Atlanta, Texas, Bailey was born fourth in a family of five children. His dad was a firefighter and the first black fire chief in the state of Texas. His mom was a nurse. “My family is very special to me,” Bailey shared. “I am close to my siblings and love them more than words can describe. We were not rich or well off growing up, but family was always the most important thing,” he continued. Bailey’s best memories were made spending time with his grandma and grandpa. “My grandpa was just a funny guy to me, and I loved the time I got to spend with him,” he said.
Bailey played basketball and ran track for the Atlanta Rabbits, but basketball was where his heart really was. He attributes his love for the game to a couple of his coaches. One was his elementary school PE Coach, Clifton Dickerson, better known as “Mr. D” and Coach Jared Boston. “Those two men were monumental in my knowledge and passion for the game.”
As he got older and it was time to make a career choice, Bailey followed in his father’s footsteps, choosing a career of service. “I guess it is just in my blood,” he said. “I feel like it’s just a noble career. Being from a small community, I knew I wanted to be involved in giving back to it. If all I can be is a positive role model or influence on anyone, or change any situation for the better, then it’s all worth it.”
Bailey has been in law enforcement 15 years, now serving as a detective in the Texarkana, Texas Criminal Investigation Division. “The hardest thing about being in law enforcement is seeing someone in a crisis. When instructing academy cadets, I tell them that no matter how small a person’s situation may seem to us, it’s a real crisis to them, so treat it as such. If it weren’t, they wouldn’t have summoned our help,” he said.
Bailey has had many memorable situations while serving, both good and bad, but it is the little ways he can help that stand out to him the most. “One instance that really stands out to me is just being a set of ears for a young lady who was going through a lot. I remember she was pregnant and just having a hard time. I think in the conversation she even mentioned that she was contemplating suicide. After putting everything else in my day aside, I just allowed her to get it all out. I just simply sat and listened to her. I offered any knowledge and experience that I could. Sometimes that is all someone may need–just to be heard.”
Because of the care and attention he gives to every call, Bailey has been recognized in big ways. He was awarded Officer of the Year in 2008 with the Atlanta Police Department. He was also awarded the Meritorious Conduct Award after being involved in a fight with an armed subject and suffering various injuries.
Bailey’s passion to serve does not stop when he clocks out of his day job. At night, he continues in that mission to the community by saying “yes” when both Pleasant Grove Youth Association (PGYA) and Redwater Youth Sports Association (RYSA) reached out to him to be a referee for basketball games. They were looking for someone with both knowledge of the game and the ability to exercise patience with the kids. They definitely found their man in Bailey! Lacey Shirley, mom of fourth grader, Griffyn Shirley, who attends Pleasant Grove and plays basketball, has been lucky enough to experience having Bailey as a referee of her child’s games. “Mr. Bailey just stood out to me,” Shirley shared. “When a child fouls, Bailey pulls them to the side and explains to them why they are being fouled. He seems to go over and above to really help all the children truly understand the game of basketball. I feel so grateful to have him on the court.” David Brooks, President of RYSA also had great things to say. “Alan is an amazing part of our basketball program, and we couldn’t do it without him. He always makes time to talk with the players and will give them advice on different plays and shots. You can always find him playing around with the kids in between games and at halftime as well. We are truly thankful for him!” This is his second year to serve with PGYA and his third year to serve with RYSA.
Just like with policing, it is the little things in youth sports that solidify Bailey’s love for it. “There is a baby whose older brother plays with RYSA,” he recalls. “This kid is two years old and always running around the court looking for any chance he can to shoot the ball. I will pick him up and hold him to the goal and let him slam dunk the ball and the crowd goes crazy for him! This kid is by far the happiest baby I have ever seen, especially when he has a ball in his hands!”
As it is commonly known, it is not always the easiest job to be a referee. Unhappy parents can sometimes be more of a challenge than the players themselves. Bailey has had his fair share of issues. However, he has a strict policy he stands by in those instances. “I try not to get too involved with the parents or the crowd,” he shared. “If I allow them to distract me, then it is pulling attention away from why we are all there and that is the kids!”
Bailey loves his time on the court with the kids. He values the opportunity to take the extra time with them to teach them so they do not make the same mistakes again. Bailey shared, “I want the kid to become a better player. A lot of these kids are still in the development stage of their life. Some are growing at a faster pace than others and may not be able to control themselves in certain aspects or maneuvers. I just try to give them pointers and what coaching I can to make that development process easier. I remember my coaches taking extra time with me or giving me pointers as to what to work on in my free time. That’s what will get a kid to the next level. It’s not what you do in practice or in a game. It is what you do on your own time that makes a difference. It is work you put in off the court.”
What an amazing role model our youth have in Alan Bailey! He displays for all what it means to truly serve both on the court and off.