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Veteran Floresville lawman to retire
Lt. Chad Clark of the Floresville Police Department
Wilson County NewsApril 9, 2014 5,043 views 1 comment
FLORESVILLE -- He has climbed the ladder from nonpaid reserve officer all the way up to lieutenant. But on May 30, Chad Clark will retire from the Floresville Police Department, just shy of 22 years of service.
Clark, 46, is the department’s longest- tenured officer and only the second to serve more than 20 years. Former Chief Daniel “Danny” Martinez retired in 2010, after serving 28 years in his second stint with the department.
“The thing I’ll miss most is the guys I work with,” Clark said. “This is a really good group of people and I enjoy working with them.”
In early 1989, when Clark worked in a local convenience store, he became friends with then-Floresville Police Department officer Brett Wheelis --who now works as a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper in San Antonio. Wheelis invited Clark to ride along with him on patrol.
“I kind of caught the bug,” Clark said.
After accompanying Wheelis on multiple occasions, Clark entered the police academy in San Antonio in August of that year. He was hired in Floresville in December as a reserve officer. He finished the academy in March 1990 and began a two-year stint with the Poteet Police Department in July.
Clark returned to Floresville in 1992 and was promoted to corporal five years later. In 2001, while working as the day-shift supervisor, he was promoted to detective. Then in 2012, Clark was promoted to lieutenant.
During his time with the department, Clark has investigated a wide array of crimes. His toughest case came April 11, 2008, when Clark had to investigate the murder-suicide of Gene and Leysa Batot. Clark said he knew Leysa from seeing her in the community and by being friends with her brother.
Clark also admits that he is troubled by the department’s only unsolved homicide. The victim was a 9-year-old girl who died in a 1995 house fire on South Second Street that might have been deliberately set. The victim, whose name Clark withheld, also might have been sexually assaulted.
Clark assisted former Lt. Alex Lopez and took over the case upon Lopez’s retirement. Clark recently re-examined the files, hoping to find answers that previously might have been overlooked.
“I would like to see her receive justice, and I’d hate to see it not happen with me leaving,” he said.
But Clark’s best victory with the department came during his days as a detective, when Floresville was rocked with a string of 14 vehicle burglaries in just two weeks.
“The thief was pretty bold,” Clark said. “Two happened in broad daylight in front of Olivia’s [Mexican Restaurant], and one was in front of the Floresville Primary School.”
News media began reporting the story and someone found a purse at the end of C.R. 320. Clark said fingerprints were extracted and they led police to a suspect in San Antonio, who admitted to his role in the incidents.
Clark will continue in law enforcement. He currently serves as the Wilson County Precinct 2 constable, a post to which he was elected in 2012.
In addition to being a full-time police officer, Clark previously served on boards for the Wilson County Friends of the Library and the Floresville Independent School District, in addition to being a partner in a private investigation business. He also has raised two daughters, 21-year-old Kayla and 17-year-old Marah.
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April 11, 2014 11:15am
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