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Dayton names Woods top cop

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    Dayton City Manager Steve Floyd and Mayor Caroline Wadzeck welcome new Police Chief Derek Woods. The Vindicator | Russell Payne

Just weeks after the departure of former Dayton Police Chief Robert Vine, a new era in local law enforcement is set to begin in the City of Dayton as City Manager Steve Floyd submitted his choice of Derek Woods to be the new top cop. Council approved that recommendation unanimously at last week’s special called meeting, after an executive session that lasted just under an hour.

Woods comes to Dayton from the City of Jasper with 25 years of law enforcement experience. The Jasper native has spent most of his career with his hometown’s department, with a brief stop in the City of Diboll as a dispatcher and reserve officer after graduating from the Angelina College Police Academy in 1996.

“Jasper was my hometown, and I have enjoyed serving the community where I grew up,” said Woods.

He has recently served as the Lieutenant over Patrol Operations, where he supervised 14 people the past six years.

“Prior to being the Patrol Lieutenant, I served in the criminal investigation division for 14 years as a Detective Sergeant and began my full-time career here as a patrol officer in 1997. Throughout my career, I have had the opportunity to serve in almost every position within the police department; however, my primary focus was investigations and management,” said Woods.

Woods and his wife Erin have six children; the four oldest Carson, Calvin, Peyton, and Ella, are all in college, while the couple’s two youngest children, Sam and Josie, attend Jasper High School. The couple enjoys spending time with their family, going to the beach, and traveling. Erin works as a CPA/ Financial Advisor.

“I am excited about the opportunity to serve as the Police Chief in Dayton and look forward to operating the police department in this growing community. I’ve heard nothing but positive things about the Dayton police department and the citizens of Dayton, and I can’t wait to hit the ground January 24th,” concluded Woods.