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Will Ford promoted to Sergeant

By Floyd Miller



One of Abilene’s finest has been promoted to the rank of Sergeant. Will Ford a 26 year veteran of the APD was promoted to Sgt. on November 5th. The lead story from most of the local media outlets was that he was the first black person to rise to the rank of Sergeant. I have to tell you that as a black man I was happy to see this promotion as was most of Abilene. However, I think there is an even larger story and it’s simply this. APD went looking for a Sergeant and they selected the best man for the job, at this time, to lead and protect all of the citizens of Abilene regardless of race, creed or color. It is one step closer to Dr. King’s dream that men would be measured by “the content of their character instead of the color of their skin.” {{more}}I do believe, perhaps, that Sergeant Ford’s promotion may inspire some young men to strive for the rank of Sergeant and maybe Chief one day.I visited with Sergeant Ford and his wife, Marie, in their home a few days ago. My first question was how did he feel about his promotion? Ford: It was very gratifying; I feel a great sense of accomplishment. I feel a great responsibility to perform this job with the highest degree of integrity for the citizens of Abilene. The job that I do does not only reflect on me personally but also on the African-American community to a degree.I asked him what had changed the most since he patrolled the streets of Abilene 11 years ago.Ford:” People are still people and they are committing the same crimes, however more violent crimes are being committed by younger people”. He believes that the violent music and the graphic, almost real, video games are promoting this type of behavior.I asked Ford what message he would have for young people. He gave this answer without hesitation almost as if he was waiting for me to ask it. “Think before you act, all actions have consequences.” He went on to say that young people are dead, in prison or have missed fantastic opportunities because they did not think before they acted.Sgt Ford said that in addition to his duties in law enforcement he and Councilman Anthony Williams coach a youth foot-ball team. He and Williams are like any coaches, they want their team to win, but” if they lost every game and kept just one child away from trouble it would be worth it”.I asked Sgt. Ford what was the most gratifying part of his job? He said it was protecting the innocent and seeing to it that those who break the law are apphrended and that they pay for their crimes.Ford down played the fact that he was the first African American to become a Sergeant. He did say that he had a great deal of respect for several African Americans that worked in law enforcement before him in Abilene. They are Mr. Otis Wiley, the first black to work as a DA with the Sheriff’s Department, Mr. J. C. Johnson, Mr. Leonard Hudson and Mr. Roston Dunman. All of these men are now retired but had outstanding careers in law enforcement. He said that Wiley and Johnson were mentors to him. I asked Ford if there was anything he wanted the citizens of Abilene to know that I had not asked. Ford replied, “Abilene has a very good police department. They have the latest tools available to them to get the job done.” He believes that the department is fair in its treatment of citizens. He also said that they are in constant training to keep up with new laws and information that help them to do a better job in serving the citizens of Abilene. Lt Scott Riley heads up the training. Mrs. Ford set nearby listening to me and her husband visit. I did have one question of her and it was what is like being the wife of a Policeman. She said that she was proud of the work that her husband did. She did say that she’s a bit more concerned since he’s back on the street versus working in CID. She was quick to add that she was excited about his promotion and had encouraged him to go for the promotion. She said that she knew that Will would do a great job and what’s right. He’s a Special Person.Congratulations Sgt. Ford, you’ve got your wife and all of Abilene pulling for you!Sgt. Ford and his wife Marie at Promotion Ceremony.

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