Dye Living the Dream as Grand Prairie Police Chief

Grand Prairie Police Chief Steve Dye

Grand Prairie Police Chief Steve Dye believes in community policing and, in his short five months on the job, he is promoting programs that unite law enforcement and citizens.

“My focus is on community policing,” said Dye. “I want to reach out to every segment of the community. We’ve hit the ground running, and I’m really excited.”

Dye, an 1984 alumnus from Sam Houston State University, revived the city’s Citizens Police Academy and Citizens on Patrol, which educates residents about various aspect of policing and gives them an opportunity to volunteer to patrol their neighborhoods. He also implemented a take home vehicle program for officers who live in the city to increase visibility and introduced a lateral entry program to provide higher salaries for experienced officers transferring from other departments.

Next year, Grand Prairie will introduce its own Police Academy to better indoctrinate cadets on the practices and philosophy of the department. He also plans to start a chapter of Unidos, a resource center he founded in Garland to address quality of life issues for the Spanish-speaking community.

Dye founded Unidos, a resource center to address quality of life issues in the Hispanic community.
Dye founded Unidos, a resource center to address quality of life issues in the Hispanic community.
“I felt like there was a lack of trust with some in the Hispanic community, which was sometimes due to a lack of proper dissemination of information,” said Dye, who became fluent in Spanish after meeting his wife, a native of Mexico. “We set up a resource center for the Spanish-speaking community and did the entire program in Spanish.”

Dye said he wanted to be a police officer his entire life, and he is still living his dream job. During his career, he has served in several Texas communities, including Houston, Arlington, Garland, and Colleyville. His duties have included Patrol, SWAT, Narcotics, Motorcycle Unit, Supervisor and Chief.

“My passion for law enforcement is the same as it was in 1984,” Dye said.

Dye credits Sam Houston State University with providing him with an excellent education and the perfect college atmosphere in which to accomplish his goals. In fact, his oldest daughter Gaby is following in his footsteps and is seeking an accounting degree with a minor in criminal justice at SHSU to join the FBI.

“Sam Houston was very beneficial to me in several ways,” Dye said. “Academically, it has some of the finest professors in criminal justice in the country and most qualified experts in the field of law enforcement. To me, the size and atmosphere of Sam Houston State offered the perfect college experience. I made lifelong friends at Sam that to this day I communicate with both on a personal and professional basis.”

After graduating from SHSU, Dye began his career at the Houston Police Department, where started in patrol and later worked in a street level narcotics unit. It was there he discovered that there are productive citizens at every level of society and that every community has the right to feel safe and live peacefully.

“There are just as many good people in the lower socioeconomic communities as there are in the affluent communities,” Dye said. “I have a soft spot in my heart for people who may not have a lot of resources, but are concerned about their neighborhoods. That’s why I am very committed to community policing. Every community should be able to live peacefully and feel safe.”

From his narcotics days, he learned the key to combating drugs is in youth advocacy. He also discovered the growing problem of prescription drugs. In Grand Prairie, he implemented a permanent drug disposal program, where residents can turn in unused prescriptions to keep drugs out of the hands of children and the drug trade.

At the Garland and Arlington Police Departments, Dye was a member of the SWAT team, where he enjoyed the “high risk, high paced environment.” He later joined the motorcycle unit at the Garland Police Department, where he also served as an advanced accident investigator.

Over the last 10 years, MotorCops for Kids has donated more than $255,000 to Shriners Hospital
Over the last 10 years, MotorCops for Kids has donated more than $255,000 to Shriners Hospital.

In 2002, he teamed up with the Harley Owners Group in Dallas and launched the MotorCops for Kids Toy Run, which has raised $255,000 for the Shriners Hospital for Children over its 10 year history. It is the same year he began the Unidos program, a model that has since spread to Dallas, Plano, Richardson and McKinney. He plans to introduce the program in Grand Prairie, where 45 percent of the population is Hispanic.

“It’s a resource center for the Spanish-speaking community,” Dye said. “It ‘s not only a place where they can enjoy food and activities with the police department, but it also serves as a resource center for daily quality of life issues. At the meetings, we might discuss how to get a driver’s license or insurance, how to pay for citations or how to get their utilities hooked up.”

Dye began his supervisory career in 2004, where he rose quickly through the ranks becoming an Assistant Chief in Garland. He later became Chief in Colleyville, before taking the post in Grand Prairie. He said his new job is a culmination of his varied background and experience.

In his short tenure on the job, Dye is solidifying his commitment to community policing. He recently introduced intelligence-led policing in Grand Prairie that focuses on real-time crime data to better respond to crime problems in the community. He also plans to introduce a Neighborhood Police Program, where officers will be assigned to a geographic area, and Crime Free Multi-Housing to better partner with community stakeholders toward long-term problem-solving of quality of life issues. Dye is sworn in as Grand Prairie by Mayor Charles England in July 2011.
Dye is sworn in as Grand Prairie by Mayor Charles England in July 2011.

“I love it here,” said Dye. “It is a great city to be Chief in…One of the things I value is that I worked 20 years at the officer level before I was promoted to Chief. I believe that experience has provided me with a better understanding of the issues affecting our line level personnel.”

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