By Kierra Pixler, Managing Editor
Bell County will soon see a new face, as Pat Duffield takes over now retired Linne McCall’s position. Duffield, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor Patrol Operation lieutenant and wife of Precinct 1 Juice of the Peace Ted Duffield, would be the first woman to serve as constable in Bell County. Once appointed, she will serve warrants, civil papers and serve as bailiff. She has been in Law Enforcement for 43 years, is a veteran and worked for UMHB up until last month.
“I came out of the United States Army in December of ‘78 and went to work for the Belton Police Department in January of ‘79,” Duffield said. “I rose to the rank of captain and was in control of the Patrol Division. I retired in May 31, 2002 and I went to work on June 1 of 2002 for the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. I retired for 36 hours.”
Duffield, who went before the county chairs and requested permission to be on the ballet, expressed how important she believes it is that the people of Bell County have a say in who is the next constable. Walking out with a unanimous vote, Duffield walked out on air.
“I think it’s important that people get to vote for their candidates,” Duffield said. “I don’t want to be one of those who somebody looks at me and goes ‘You were appointed. You weren’t even elected to this.’ I think it’s very important that the people have a vote and that the have a voice. I stood before the county chairs and explained to them who I am, where I come from, what my background is and why I should be the best man for the job. I had to have a majority vote and I got a unanimous, so needless to say I walked out of there very happy.”
On top of serving in the Army, for the Belton Police Department and UMHB, Duffield also started a well-known program here in Belton.
“I think that it’s very important at this day and age for people to serve,” Duffield said. “I’ve served since before high school. I served coming out of high school with the United States Army. I served with the City of Belton as a police officer. I was instrumental in bringing the DARE program to the police department and to the City of Belton. I taught the DARE program to the Belton Independent School District for several years and then oversaw the program after I left teaching and came back to become to head of the Patrol Division.”
With a strong passion for education and children, Duffield believes that all children deserve love and happiness.
“One of the things that I do is the completion of 500 Christmas stockings for children that will be handed out at Christmas time,” Duffield said. “When we’re done sewing them, we will fill them and then distribute them.”
This is just the beginning of a new experience for Duffield and her excitement to learn new things and serve Bell County is apparent.
“I’m always eager to learn. You need to learn something everyday otherwise you just go stagnant.”