Tyrone Morrow spent his first day on the job as Bryan's police chief going from meeting to meeting with the men and women he will serve with for the years to come.
Monday night, Morrow met members of the community at the North Bryan Community Center, who welcomed the first African American chief in the city's history.
"I never thought I'd see the day, if I'm telling the truth, that I would see a black police chief," said Brazos County Commissioner Carey Cauley.
The message was clear from the start of Morrow's speech to the gathering.
"I and the men and women of the Bryan are about strict enforcement of the laws, irrespective of your color, creed, religion or sexual orientation," Morrow told the crowd.
He also discussed his plans for the first three to six months on the job:
- Look at how BPD is currently organized, what the span of control is, and what the chain of command looks like
- Interview each and every staff member, civilian and sworn, and ask what BPD is doing right, what they can do better, and what their top priority would be if they were in charge
- Look at BPD's equipment, see what they have, and what they need
- Check the procedures, and if they meet the highest standards of law enforcement
- Create a crime strategic plan
From there, Morrow says he will create a year-by-year plan over the next five years to best move the department forward. That, he says, includes creating a better partnership with the community.
"We intend to get engaged," Morrow told the crowd Monday. "Really engaged. In turn, I'm going to ask something of you. I'm going to ask you, the community, to get engaged."
Morrow told the citizens his department may not have been out in the public as much as they should have been in the past, but that effective crime fighting involves the biggest gang in town: those wearing blue, and the people they serve.
"As we grow, we need partnership," said Reverend Kris Erskine with Shiloh Baptist Church. "It's not even about black or white. It's not about right wing or left wing. It's about the whole bird."
Morrow says his arrival doesn't mark the end of crime, but that together, Bryan can intimidate those who commit it.
For more than two decades, Morrow served in Fairfax County. His last role there was as the head of the criminal justice academy. He was selected to lead Bryan PD after a nationwide search that turned up five finalists.