March 09, 2021
| Updated: March 09, 2021
Name: Chief Frank Dixon
Department: Denton PD
Total Years of Service: 26
Chief Frank Dixon has served as a police officer for 26 years and counting. Chief Dixon serves as a co-chair for the Steak and Stetson event and has been active with LETR throughout his career.
He grew up in a military family and moved about every two years for the majority of his childhood. He has travelled and lived all across the United States in places like Hawaii, Nebraska, and Texas. From sixth grade on he resided in Austin. Chief said, “As a child I knew I wanted to be a firefighter or police officer. I had an uncle who was a detective in Washington D.C. and his stories always perked my interest. In middle school I made the decision to become a police officer. I took a street law class as a junior in high school which gave me the opportunity to go on ride outs … a front row seat to what I’d be doing. After high school I joined the Marine Corps and when I would come home on vacation I’d go on more ride outs. I enjoyed viewing the problem solving part of the job.”
Prior to becoming a Chief, Dixon worked in many different facets of law enforcement including patrol, mental health, and as a detective, working in narcotics, gang unit, homicide, canine, and S.W.A.T. Dixon’s three favorites were homicide, gangs, and S.W.A.T “for the adrenaline,” he said. He was introduced to LETR in Austin during a shift meeting.
One of his commanders was heavily involved in the Special Olympics and brought it up frequently. The Austin Police Department was very involved in Special Olympics and LETR activities. Chief Dixon retired from the Austin Police Department when he was hired as the Chief in Denton. When he moved from Austin to Denton, Chief Dixon found that the department was not involved in LETR. Since becoming Chief in Denton, Dixon has made a conscious effort to be involved in LETR events. He loves that with LETR “events are all up to your imagination,’’ meaning the organization is open to many different event types and styles. The possibilities are endless!
“When corona first hit things grounded almost to a halt. But now my schedule is as, if not more challenging because meetings are back to back. Once we figured out how to switch to the virtual world, it was a smooth transition. But of course the comfort of human contact has been taken away and mental illness has become a bigger issue,” he said.
“We have just launched a co-responder Mental Health Unit of four officers that are paired with mental health professionals to address mental health calls. One of the most important things is making sure people get connected to proper services and continue or start taking their medications. We also have the Take Me Home program that gives families the ability to fill out information about participants who have mental or intellectual disabilities, so we can more proactively try to locate them when or if they go missing. We’ve recovered 2 or 3 autistic children so far,” Chief said.
Chief Dixon spoke a bit about the intersectionality of issues we face. He said, “It’s always a challenge because you’re constantly dealing with intertwined situations. My reality is dealing with being a Black man in America and a police chief. If we all took our guards down for a moment, I think we would see that we are not on opposite sides of a lot of issues. We are all intertwined.”
LETR events and activities provide an opportunity for the community to engage with police in non hostile situations. “Tip A Cops are always a good time. They give us an opportunity to educate others about the Special Olympics. It also offers a chance to humanize police offices and bridges the gap between law enforcement and the community,” Chief said.
On that note, Chief Dixon wants to invite you to Steak and Stetson on April 13th! It will be held at Circle R Ranch in Flower Mound. Steak and Stetson will be a night of dancing, dinner, casino games that draws community leaders together in the name of Special Olympics. A silent and live auction will also be held at the event. For more information about Steak and Stetson, contact Chief Dixon at Frank.Dixon@cityofdenton.com.
Chief Dixon rounded off the interview with these remarks:
To our athletes, your heart and courage speaks to people and speaks to your heart. Never underestimate the impact you make on others.
To our community, the last two weeks have brought significant challenges. We saw the best of humans during that time. Independent community members came together to find shelter, water, and pool resources for others. It did not matter what you looked like or who you voted for. We saw what America is supposed to be. If we kept that perspective we’d see sustainable changes in our communities.
I want to say thank you to my peer chiefs for your involvement. They get it and we are all starting to move toward initiatives like the Special Olympics. There are not many things that can give you a full heart but SOTX is one of them. Remember to join myself, Chief Kancel and Chief Reim for Steak and Stetson in April!
We would like to extend a big thank you to Chief Dixon for his participation and service with LETR. We look forward to collaborating with you more in the future!