Grand Prairie — January was the start of a new decade, but for the Grand Prairie Police Department it was the start of a new era.
On Jan. 17, former Grand Prairie police chief Steve Dye retired after over 30 years of law enforcement. During his retirement celebration, many people spoke about Dye’s impact through his time as a public servant.
“Chief Dye is a respected law enforcement figure across the state of Texas and nationally,” Christ Turner, Texas state representative, said. “In the legislature, I’ve had the opportunity to work with him on a number of issues.
“I’ve found that Chief Dye is always instantly accessible to policymakers to help us understand the impact of the policies we make or are considering to make will be on law enforcement and the communities they protect and serve. Chief Dye has a really unique ability and patience to be able to explain to lawmakers the intricacies of policies. Sometimes [lawmakers] don’t instantly get the finer aspects of some of the policies.”
Kris Pitcher, deputy chief of Los Angeles Police Department, shared stories about the first time he met Dye.
“I met Steve about 13 years ago,” Pitcher said. “We ended up at a senior management institute for police program, and I think they thought it was funny to put a California kid and a cowboy together and ultimately see what they could come up with. I wanted to find out what this Texas guy was all about. I looked into his room, and I saw this guy ironing his jeans. He had about 20 pairs of jeans, ironed, and he was putting them on hangers.
“The more I got the chance to talk to Steve, I found this was an individual who was committed not only to his profession, he was also committed to his family. He was committed to his wife; he’s committed to his faith. And he was committed to everybody that he served day in and day out. He had great ideas, but it came from the heart. He was genuine.
“I want to share [an adage] my dad gave me a long time ago. He said, ‘watch your thoughts for they become your words. Watch your words for they become your actions. Watch your actions for they become your habits. Watch your habits for they become your character. Watch your character for it becomes your legacy.’ What I’ve seen through all of these years through Steve, everything he’s done everything he has been to law enforcement here and nationally, he is the walking embodiment of everything I have seen from this adage.”
While Dye had an impact on people across the nation, many spoke about his dedication to his family. Matt DeSamo of Dallas FBI read a letter from Dye’s daughter, Gaby, who is currently at the FBI academy and missed the celebration.
“These are Gaby’s words,” DeSamo said. “‘Daddy, I’m sorry and disappointed that I cannot be there today, but I still wanted to pass along a few words to you on this special day. “‘Congratulations on an extremely successful 35 years of law enforcement. You’ve done more during your career than most can even dream of will come close to doing.
“‘Only someone with a true passion for helping others and West Texas work ethic could accomplish what you have in your career. For example, not going to the jail until your squad car was full with people you arrested to avoid making multiple trips. I still enjoy listening to all your crazy stories even though I’ll most likely never get to experience anything close to the same.
“‘You showed me the importance of giving back to the community. I’m so grateful. I’ve always had such a great role model to look up to. You showed me the example of what a good father and husband looks like. Austin and I are so blessed to have you and mom is a perfect example of what a good loving, healthy marriage looks like.
“‘Even though I’m sure everyone agrees that you work too hard, you still never missed any or games, cross country races or swim meets growing up,’” he read. “‘Your passion for helping others influenced me to follow in your footsteps and to also pursue a career in law enforcement, which is unfortunately the reason I cannot be there today. I’ve never been more proud or lucky to be able to call you my dad, and I’m so thankful that God blessed me with such a great one.’”