History of our Police Chiefs
Aransas Pass was incorporated on April 5, 1910, and E. E. Mullins became its first City Marshall. Aransas Pass had many City Marshals through the years, and they kept the peace without much assistance.
On May 10, 1949, the subject of adding people to the Police Department was taken under consideration, and, after due deliberation, the City Commission, as the City Council was then known, decided the City Marshall should have an assistant. Felix Turnbough, Sr., who had taken the position of City Marshall in 1946, now had a second officer to command, and he became the first Aransas Pass City Marshall to also be called “Chief of Police.”
The City accepted applications for the new position of Deputy City Marshall/Assistant Chief of Police, and when Commissioner Falgout asked Chief Turnbough which of the three applicants — E. J. Crump, V. R. Patterson, and L. W. Hefner — he would recommend, Turnbough selected V. R. “Virgil” Patterson.
Commissioner Falgout then made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Poling, and passed, that Aransas Pass employ V. R. Patterson as Deputy City Marshall/Assistant Chief of Police effective May 11, 1949.
During this time the department had only one police car, so citizens would often see Turnbough and Patterson patrolling in their personal automobiles. But the City of Aransas Pass continued to grow, and the Police Department grew along with it. The picture above, shows Patterson and Turnbough in front of that police car.
By 1957 the Police Department employed eleven people, including Chief of Police Felix Turnbough; Assistant Chief of Police V. R. “Virgil” Patterson; Chief Dispatcher Lewis T. Smith; Dispatcher Ed Crump; Meter Officer Mrs. Dorothy Baldinell; Patrolmen V. P. Massaro, D. T. Kennedy, M. C. Franklin, John Tiner and Dee Ridgeway; and Patrolman Rodolfo Ramirez, the first Hispanic to serve in the Aransas Pass Police Department.
In January 1975, during the City Council meeting, Councilman J. T. Marshall made a motion to name Rodolfo “Rudy” Ramirez Chief of Police. The motion was seconded by Councilman J. T. Buckmaster and passed. Virgil Patterson, who had been serving as the Interim Chief of Police, placed the badge on the new Chief of Police, and Rudy, who had been the first Hispanic to be hired by the Police Department, also became the first Hispanic to become Chief of Police of Aransas Pass.
In 1979 Melvin Shedd became the Police Department’s third Chief of Police and held the position for 24 years. After Chief Shedd, Chief of Police, Darrell Jones took over. Chief Jones first became the interim Chief in August 2003, when Shedd retired and accepted the post permanently in November of that same year. In June of 2012, Chief Eric Blanchard took over as Chief Jones retired several months back. The department now consists of over 30 people, all dedicated to keeping the citizens of Aransas Pass and their property safe, secure, and well-protected.
Message from the Chief on our History
Aransas Pass Police
Aransas Pass Police Department remains dedicated to safeguarding life and property, preserving the peace, detecting and preventing crime, enforcing the law, safeguarding the US and Texas Constitutions, and protecting the rights of all citizens. We commit to delivering smart, dynamic policing in partnership with our community in order to identify and resolve the problems that impact public safety and peace.
Our staff is committed to providing the highest quality of public safety service to those who live, work, play, and visit within our community. We continually evaluate and improve our efforts to enhance our mission with the goal of improving the quality of life for all, while at the same time maintaining respect for individual rights and human dignity.
Currently, we have 32 sworn officers on staff. This includes 16 patrol officers, 1 reserve officer, 2 school resource officers, 6 detectives, an administrative/emergency operations captain, an assistant police chief, and the chief of police.
Additionally, the fire chief and his assistant fire chief are both licensed, sworn peace officers under the PD, as well. The assistant chief and administrative captain also serve as the department’s training directors. Emergency communications is comprised of have 9 licensed telecommunications officers (one of whom is also a peace officer), Additionally, we employ 2 administrative staff members, 2 animal control officers, a civilian evidence/crime scene technician, and a code compliance officer.
In addition to paid staff, the department partners with the criminal justice programs within the Aransas Pass Independent School District, Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi, and UT San Antonio. We support these programs through our police explorers program and educational internship programs. Lastly, we also have a few folks that choose to volunteer their time and effort to help us improve our service. Currently, we have 2 civilian volunteers and 1 officer volunteer.
Are you interested in volunteering? Complete and submit an application for consideration.