Palestine City Council members Monday unanimously approved making interim Police Chief Mark Harcrow the city's permanent police chief. The appointment was recommended by City Manager Leslie Cloer.
Harcrow, who had been with the Palestine Police Department for more than a decade, was promoted to captain, and then assistant police chief, by his predecessor, Chief Andy Harvey. He had served as interim police chief since Harvey resigned in October.
Harcrow, 32, will earn roughly $90,000 per year as chief.
“I’m extremely proud of that young man,” Harvey told the Herald-Press Monday. “Mark is the right person for the job at this time.”
A graduate of Palestine High School, Harcrow earned a bachelor’s degree in criminology from the University of Texas at Arlington; he holds a master’s peace officer license.
Cloer was unable to attend the meeting due to a family medical emergency but left a statement, asking the council to congratulate Harcrow.
Harcrow had strong support in the community.
“We are advocates of strong leadership,” said Cindy Piersol, director of Palestine’s YMCA and a member of a group supporting Harcrow's appointment. “If Mark wasn’t a strong leader, he wouldn’t have had our backing.”
District 2 Councilman Mitchell Jordan told the Herald-Press Harcrow earned his way into the chief’s position.
“He stuck in there with the city all these years,” Jordan said. “I can’t see anyone more deserving of the position.”
Harcrow, a proponent of community-policing, told the Herald-Press the community support has been overwhelming.
“I believe our relationship with the community is stronger than ever, and will continue to grow,” he said. “We have a great team here at the PPD, and we’ve worked hard to build something we can all be proud of.
“I want to thank our city manager and council members for believing in what we’re doing at the PPD, and giving me this opportunity.”