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First Responder, Terry Timms
Reflects on a Decade of Local Service

(09/16/15 WBI s&tw) - I attended the 2nd Annual First Responders Banquet tonight (Sept. 15th, 2015) at Akin Elementary here in Hale Center. The Banquet was hosted by the local Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by our local Woodmen of the World and Vista Bank. The meal was catered by Weekends Bar-B-Que in Plainview and was absolutely fantastic.

I wanted to express my appreciation to the Chamber of Commerce for recognizing the hard work and countless sacrifices made by so many within our community. There may be differences between men and agencies, but the moment the tone or radio call goes off, everyone within these agencies work like a well-oiled machine and dedicate themselves to the cause. I couldn't be prouder to be a part of the Hale Center community and especially the local Hale Center First Responders.

Tonight during the banquet I reflected a lot about my life over the last 10 years. I have grown so much here in Hale Center; as a Christian, father, husband and a public servant. It wasn't until I moved to Hale Center that I learned what true community policing was all about. I have learned to not live in a community, but rather how to be a part of a community. Living in Hale Center has taught me to be more community oriented and how to care for others as well as how to protect them. I have learned that there was so much more to pinning on a badge and enforcing laws.

Ten years ago my life was about to change forever as I knew it. I was responding to a 911 call of an accident just south of Hereford where I was a State Trooper in Dimmitt. My best friend and shift partner was killed in a car wreck where he burned inside his vehicle. That night was going to change my life forever. I resigned within two months of the accident and was in shambles not knowing where my life was leading me. The smell of the burned body affected me more ways than I realized at the time by triggering memories from Kuwait where we cleaned houses with entire families inside that had been executed and burned. I was at a dark place in my life and lingering for any hope or guidance from God as to what direction I was to take in my life.

Having been raised in a religious home growing up, I was certain that God would not allow doors to close on me without Him opening up several windows to crawl out of. Later it seemed that Hale Center was outside my only open window. My wife told me one day about a position in Hale center as the Police Chief. I was certain by that time in my life that I was not going to be happy in any other occupation than law enforcement. I felt being a peace officer was my calling and a job my father had done for over 35 years. Before applying for the job I remember driving to Hale Center for the first time and found myself at the First Baptist Church where I met Dr. Carol Green for the first time. Before moving to a strange town I felt that I could get a feel of the community from within the office of a local pastor. Turns out that God directed me to that office for a reason. God knew Dr. Carol Green would convince me that there was no better place to live than this wonderful town. I applied for the job and moved to Hale Center within the next 30 days.

I have had the pleasure of serving the wonderful folks of this community for almost 10 years now. I have actually lived in Hale Center for almost a quarter of my life. To include my childhood the longest I had ever lived in one community was 4 years before changing jobs or transferring within the same job. Now that I have lived here for almost 9½ years my heart has grown attached to this community. I have watched my son, Tanner, start school here, and we have made many friends. God brought two girls into our lives and we have had the pleasure of watching them start school here as well.

I have experienced exciting times and times of grief with many members of this community and was often able to console them with prayer to help them through difficult times. By doing all these things one couldn't help but bond with the folks in this community who always seem to rally in times of need. For these reasons Hale Center will always hold a place dear to my heart.

My reflections tonight of the past 9½ years while at the banquet were somewhat emotional to me as we said the Pledge of Allegiance and sung the National Anthem. I know that if it is God's will, I will be leaving Hale Center soon to get a little closer to my mother in Lubbock. As many know I have experienced great loss within the last 6 years which has left my mother alone in Lubbock. No matter how much I love this community, the love for my mother outweighs everything. Many of you have experienced great losses of your own and can empathize with me.

Tonight during the banquet I sat in the back and as I looked around the room I became prideful. I felt so much pride and was overwhelmed as to how many friends I have had the honor of making while living here. I may be leaving in a month or two or in several years. It is all in God's timing and as we all know, He can sometimes be humorous with his answers to prayer.

I want to take the time to tell everyone in Hale Center how much it has meant to my family and me for the hospitality over the years. It has been a great pleasure to serve you as a First Responder in two different capacities in the past 9½ years. I will continue to serve in Hale County until the Lord leads me elsewhere but want all of you to know that Home, Hale Center, is where the Heart is. May God continue to bless the first responders and citizens of this fine community. Many of you know how to contact me and I have always said "I am only a phone call away."

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