COPPELL (CBSDFW.COM) – Macario “Mac” Tristan says it’s been emotional and stressful preparing for his next job as the new Chief of Police for the City of Coppell. “It’s tough to finally just say I’m leaving now” says Tristan.
It’s a pivotal time in Coppell’s history. Police say Mayor Jayne Peters killed her daughter, Corrine Peters, 19, and then committed suicide last July.
Coppell Police Chief Roy Osborne retired last year. He was criticized for not immediately leaving a state-mandated training and return to Coppell after police found the Mayor and her daughter’s bodies. Tristan says he will handle major events differently.
“When you have a community like that and something tragic happens, if you imagine something in your family were to happen, your first response is, or anyone’s first response is, I need to get home” says Tristan. “Yes, I would come back, of course.”
In another investigation, State Troopers are investigating the theft of $1500, money seized during drug investigations.
“If it’s not finished (the investigation) and accomplished by the time I start, I will obviously get involved and will provide my input, and my advice and my decision on what I think should happen” says Tristan.
Tristan is currently the Assistant Chief of Police for Carrollton and says he dealt with his own personal issues while applying for the job as Chief in Coppell. “I was this close to not applying” says Tristan, who found himself traveling frequently to Harlingen, Texas, to care for his mother as her health began to fail. “She passed away New Year’s eve at about 9:45” and Tristan says city officials in Coppell were very understanding during the interview process. “Constant support. So much so that the Deputy City Manager and the Acting Police Chief attended my mother’s funeral” he says.
Tristan says he father instilled a sense of giving back to the community. “My father had an eighth grade education. My mother had a third grade education” he says. When he entered elementary school Tristan says he spoke no English and he was held back in the second grade. “It didn’t matter that we couldn’t perform. It was we didn’t know the language” he says. At the time he says he also missed a lot of school due to asthma.
Tristan says he strongly believes in Problem-Oriented Policing in which patrol officers become aware of problems before police intervention is necessary. “Pro-active problem solving rather than just reacting to problems”. The next Chief of Police for Coppell also adheres to a management style known as Servant Leadership which is in contrast to the military-style command and control form of leadership.
“In a Servant Leadership philosophy it flows up and down. Decisions are made at the appropriate level” says Tristan.
Tristan was recruited by the Carrollton Police Department right out of college and it’s the only police department where he has worked. The 17 years he has served as Carrollton’s Assistant Police Chief.