Zavalla searching for new police chief

Bobby Epperly, Jr. is the new Huntington Police Chief.
Bobby Epperly, Jr. is the new Huntington Police Chief.
Precinct 4 Constable William Wade is Zavalla's interim police chief.
Precinct 4 Constable William Wade is Zavalla's interim police chief.

By Holley Nees - bio | email

ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) – Huntington Police Chief Bobby Epperly Jr. picks up the phone to answer an emergency call.

"Where's your house at," Epperly asked.

Wednesday was his first official day on the job and he responded to a burglary in progress.

The last few days have focused on clearing old pending cases.

"A burglary today [Wednesday] that we're working on that was involving the lady that they were kicking in the doors...and we actually had one of those cases that we're pursuing charges today on that deal," he explained.

Epperly starting his new job, means the City of Zavalla is now searching for a new chief.

"It is sad and we have to really look at the qualifications of somebody like Bobby and that's going to be kind of hard, but I think we can do it," said Zavalla City Secretary Rhonda Pigg.

Constable William Wade will take over as Zavalla's interim chief while the city forms a review board and takes applications.

"We're going to try to run things just like we always have, just like Bobby always had it," said Wade. "He had a good system in place."

While the interim chief takes care of the streets in Zavalla, over in Huntington Epperly is working on cleaning up the streets of his new jurisdiction.

"We're looking at trying to build a better relationship between the police department and the local community here and we're going to tackle some issues such as drug problems, juvenile issues," said Epperly.

After 10 years as top cop in Zavalla, the crime rate is down.

Now, he's swapping badges and taking his work down the road.

"We're building a team here," said Epperly. It's now something Zavalla is looking to rebuild.

"Somebody's got some shoes to fill," laughed Pigg.

"I hope that they can find somebody that will have a vision and a goal to continue to build that department and run it in a positive way," Epperly said.

He plans to help Zavalla find a new chief to fill his empty office.

Epperly replaces Steven Sifford, who resigned after 11 years with the department.

Zavalla's interim chief tells us he has no plans to run for the position full-time.

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