Madisonville Police Chief Has Interesting Past and Pet

By: Shane McAuliffe Email
By: Shane McAuliffe Email

Madisonville Police Chief Chuck May likes living a simple life.

"Life is good in Madisonville, Texas," said Chief May.

May has been in law enforcement for 42 years and it all started in Houston.

After returning home from the Vietnam War in 1969, May put corks in his heels to pass the height requirement at HPD, all to keep serving the people.

"(The) personal satisfaction you get out of a position in law enforcement and what you can do to help people, gives you a feeling you can't describe," said May.

After a few years, May became a secret service agent and protected Presidents Ford, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, and both Bush's. He retired after President George W. Bush's first term.

"It was a good thing to see the different personalities of the people behind the scenes that ran our country. And know that they were human beings and that they really cared," said May.

It was supposed to be about rest and relaxation when May moved to Madisonville but after working at the high school for six years, a chance to be chief couldn't be passed up.

"It's our people's department not my police department, I'm just their leader. I'm very proud of the officers I've got in this police department," said May.

Problem is May's 17 year-old African Gray parrot, Rascal, wouldn't have any part of her missing partner in crime.

"You just never know what is going to come out of her mouth," joked May.

With May's long days at the office, Rascal started stressing out so A&M veterinarians suggested May bring Rascal aboard at the Madisonville Police Department.

"It's not a problem bringing her to work because of the moral booster that it was," said May.

The birds of a feather met together 16 years ago and it's a story appropriate for Valentine's Day.

"I put her on my shoulder and she nuzzled up to my neck and said, I love you. I said, I'll take that bird. $1800 later I walked out of the bird shop with a cage, toys, and a bird," joked May.

Now Rascal is like a team mascot, a mascot with a lot to say.

"I will get nothing done because she does not shut up during the day. She is always yakking about something. She aggravates my staff all the time. They can't walk past the door without her saying, hello I need fresh water. She'll whistle at the girls when they go past," said May.

Rascal has even diffused intense meetings, she drinks Dr. Pepper, and she dips. I guess some old birds just have bad habits. But that doesn't mean she can't pick up new tricks, like the latest dance craze.

"I said, what is the wobble. If you're teaching her something that's bad, you're in trouble. But she does it, sitting there on her perch," said May.

Yes, Rascal is one odd bird but then again, so is chief May.

"It's hard to say that I'm probably the only chief that's got a talking parrot sitting in his office but hey, welcome to Madisonville," joked May.


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