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Patton Village Sends Strong Message About Police Chief

The City of Patton Village held a special meeting Saturday night, which had been delayed because of Hurricane Harvey. Despite its delay and odd timing, on a Saturday evening, the meeting drew more attention than most due to an agenda item that threatened to remove the current Police Chief Shannon Sharp, for unspecified reasons, to be discussed in executive session.
Mayor pro-tem Jonathan Whitworth placed the controversial item on the agenda and was then absent from the meeting. No one else seemed to know what Whitworth’s problem was with Sharp. In fact, officers, first responders, and other citizens attended specifically to show support for Sharp, from Patton Village and even beyond the Montgomery County line
Cleveland ISD Police Chief Rex Evans used strong words, talking about what they’d been through together over the years. He said the one word that came to his mind besides “friend” was “integrity.”
“I have never found fault in anything he has done, other than he’s a friend who will never leave you alone, no matter what you’ve done,” Evans said.
He reminded the city how he, Evans, helped them and worked with them when Officer Baumgartner died, and how they trusted him. Evans told them they should trust him again.
“This man who’s your police chief- you will find no better – not even me,” he said.
CISDPD Officer Pamela Minchew, who began her career at Patton Village under Sharp, got emotional as she said she was attending the meeting for Chief Sharp because “when he says he’s going to do something, he does it.”
Minchew and others spoke about how Sharp was away from his family during the flood, making sure the citizens of his city were safe and their needs were filled. She also mentioned how he went without sleep during the initial days after the hurricane hit, and said he did so because it’s “not just a job – it’s a calling.”
“The integrity’s there,” Minchew said. “Don’t lose it.”
A woman who said she moved to Patton Village in July said she had never seen a chief whose officers respected him as Sharp’s did, or a chief who worked as hard as he did to achieve zero casualties in “the worst hurricane ever.”
She also said she could see the respect in the faces of his officers.
“I want to tell the citizens that without that man, some of you might not be here,” she said, as the crowd erupted into applause. “He was prepared when others around us were not.”
Member of a search and rescue group the praised his work and said what a shame it would be to lose him. One of his officers, only three months on the job, said he could say Chief Sharp has vision and he wished the other chiefs he’d worked for had that.
A dispatcher could hardly speak through her tears, telling how she was still in school when they met and he helped her become a dispatcher. “I know that he would take a bullet for me,” she said. “I am the person that I am thanks to Chief Sharp”
Another officer since January talked about Sharp’s vision, and about the time he put in, and how he offered them the opportunity to go to training, calling him one of the few chiefs that “stands behind his officers.”
“If this chief were to leave for any reason, it would be the worst thing this city has ever done,” he said.
Officer White, the first sworn in under Sharp, said, “From day one, the only thing I’ve seen is honor and integrity.”
Mayor Leah Tarrant polled the council members one by one, asking if they had anything to say regarding Sharp. Only Councilman Anderson made a statement, and it was in praise of the chief and how much he did during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey
Mayor Tarrant said mayor pro-tem Jonathan Whitworth put the item on the agenda, but she had no idea what it was about.
“He never came and discussed anything with me,” Tarrant said.
The mayor said everyone sitting there hired the chief and he was someone they had confidence in and didn’t need to “micromanage.” She said if things ever came to that, he wouldn’t need to be in that position, but it hadn’t happened.
Tarrant said Sharp was teaching emergency management to 29 agencies in the days before Harvey came.
An emotional Chief Sharp, who has 32 years’ experience in law enforcement, with 16 in Harris County, said he prayed about the opportunity to be the Police Chief of Patton Village when it arose, and he believed he was supposed to be there.
Mayor Tarrant said “I think we’re sitting here today because of me. I think it is political and I would never have it that way.”
“I think you did an absolutely phenomenal job in the storm,” she said.
Tarrant listed multiple thing Sharp did that made things better for the city and its residents when the storm hit.
“I didn’t really know how this meeting was going to go,” she said, pulling out a plaque for Sharp that was a “Commendation for exceptional service before during and after devastation of Hurricane Harvey.” The presentation drew a standing ovation. Chief Sharp gave the glory to God and his wife, and he recognized his team, pointing out Sgt. Hernandez specifically. Sharp said a lot of people would’ve been lost without the sergeant and the other members of his team.
“I can’t ask for a better team or better city,” Sharp said, as his voice broke. “This is my last stop in my career.”
The Patton Village City Council then took action on a motion by Councilman Anderson, and seconded by Councilman Daniel. It was a “vote of full confidence” or full support of Chief Shannon Sharp.
There is still no word on what Whitworth’s issue was, but nobody else seemed to have a problem with Sharp except for issue of the absent councilman apparently wanting to remove him. It no longer looks that’s even a remote possibility.

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