Tuesday marks a milestone for the City of Denton after swearing the new police chief, Lee Howell. A nation-wide search led the city right back to the home-town candidate.
Howell was born and raised in Denton, and his career kept him close to home. He worked for the Denton Police Department for 24 years before serving as the Denton County sheriff's Chief Deputy. The role of police chief brings him full circle.
"It's like returning home after a long absence and coming back to the place where I grew up," Howell said.
A lot has changed as his home town grows. The police department is working to keep up with the rapid growth of the city. Howell said the growth may be one of the biggest challenges ahead.
"Anytime you have to continue to do more and more with less and less resources, it's a challenge. So, that's something a lot of police departments are facing," Howell said, "We will make the best of what we can to keep the community safe."
City leaders have confidence Howell is the right one for the job.
"Finding the right person that has the support of the community, the council, and the administration is critically important," Denton City Manager George Campbell said. "He simply stood out, and I think was an incredibly good choice."