City of Abilene swears in first Black police chief

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Marcus Dudley, Jr. was sworn in Thursday night as Abilene’s first Black police chief.

“This is absolutely amazing,” said Dudley. “To be in law enforcement can be challenging around the country, but one of the things I can attest to is the folks in Abilene are different.”  

Dudley says words cannot express the love and support he has received.  

Former Police Chief Melvin Martin says it was an honor to help select Dudley. 

“I feel really good. Not only for our selection, but after his arrival what we have seen him do already, the attitude amongst officers, what I have seen him do in the community, my goodness,” said Martin.

Dudley hopes that he can inspire other men and women of color. 

“I hope that it’s inspiring to others who look like me to know that it is possible to be a head of an agency, but even more than that, I don’t want to let them down,” said Dudley. 

Chief Dudley also hopes to assure all persons of color that they, too, can have a high leadership role. 

“I want to make sure that they understand that when I serve, I serve for all of our community and that we can be just as successful in that role as anyone else,” said Dudley. 

City Manager Robert Hanna read a heartfelt letter from Dudley’s former chief congratulating him on his success. 

“With the increasing demands and scrutiny of policing today, I have every confidence that you chose the right person to advance the mission and vision of your city,” Hanna read.  

Dudley’s family was unable to make it to Thursday’s ceremony, but he says after seeing friends and community members show up for him tonight, he knows he’s not alone and feels loved by Abilene. 

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