In an early morning ceremony Monday, the Grayson County Sheriff”s Office promoted three people to new ranks. Grayson County Sheriff Keith Gary said when discussing the three promotions, “Cream rises to the top.”
“This is indeed a real honor for me,” Gary continued as he spoke to news crews and a small group of Sheriff’s Office employees in the Grand Jury Room at the Grayson County Justice Center.
He started with the promotion that made way for two others by introducing Brian Ford, who was promoted to lieutenant and assistant jail administrator. Gary said the SO has been pleased to have Ford on staff since September 2009. The Sheriff said Ford’s 26 years of experience as a manager in the lumber business made him a good candidate for promotion within the department.
“We expected great things from him when we hired him, and he hasn’t failed us,” Gary said.
Ford graduated from the high school in Vicenza, Italy, and said he wished he had recognized that for the opportunity that it was when he was experiencing it.
“I would love to be able to go back (to Italy),” he told the crowd when discussing the time he spent traveling abroad with his military father. Stateside again, Ford attended Texas State Technical College and Grayson College. He graduated as the valedictorian of his class at the North Texas Police Academy in June 2011.
“I just want to thank Lt. Walker, Capt. Braziel and of course the Sheriff for their vote of confidence in me, allowing me to move up in rank. I just appreciate working with such a fine group of officers. Thank you,” Ford said.
Next it was Josh Allen’s turn to go from being a corporal to a sergeant at the jail.
“We really appreciate the good job that you have done. You came here, put your shoulder to the wheel, and we have been watching your progress, if you believe that or not, we really have been watching you,” Gary said to Allen.
“Sgt. is a very important person in the jail because they run the shift usually,” Gary said, explaining the promotion. Allen has worked for the GCSO since 2007. Before that, he worked for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice from 2005 to 2007.
Allen thanked those responsible for his promotion and then said, “I have always had high expectations for myself and I have always tried to exceed my supervisor’s expectations. We have a tough job, but it makes it a lot easier when we work with such great people (in) administration.”
Then it was Andrew Baldridge’s turn to become a corporal. Gary explained that is the first rung on the management ladder at the jail.
“We are really proud, you have made great progress for us, and we depend on you a lot,” Gary said in introducing Baldridge. A Bells High graduate, Baldridge worked for MEMC, Black & Decker and Kwikset before joining the SO in 2007.
“We work with a great group of people, and I want to say thanks for everybody. Without their support … I wouldn’t be here on this spot,” Baldridge said.
Jail Commander Rodger Braziel said, “A commander of the jail is only as good as the people who work for him, and I have an excellent staff that works for me. We probably have the best staff that we have had in the last 12 years.”
“An officer makes an arrest, brings someone in and books them in,” Gary said. He noted, it is then up to the jail staff to keep those people safe and secure. “We have got a good staff that does that,” he said.