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Todd hangs it up after 35-year career

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                               Retiring San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Dan Todd (left) receives a plaque of appreciation from Sheriff Greg Capers during a retirement ceremony for Todd on Oct. 2 in Coldspring. Todd retired after a 35-year career.

By Jason Chlapek

SAN JACINTO COUNTY — When Dan Todd left the Houston Police Department after 30 years in 2015, he didn’t expect to get back in law enforcement.He had the opportunity a few months later to join the San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Department. After five years with the department, Todd is riding out into the sunset — again.

Todd’s 35-year career came to an end on Oct. 2. A reception for the Point Blank resident took place that day at Paradise Grille in Coldspring.

“When I came up here and built a house thinking I was going to retire, but after six months, I missed it and went to work for Sheriff (Greg) Capers,” Todd said. “I believed ineverything they were doing.”Todd held the title of Chief Deputy at the SJCSO. Capers talked about his retiring Chief Deputy as well.“Dan was a real good officer,” Capers said. “He has the highest integrity and I trusted him. That’s the reason why he was my chief. I wouldn’t appoint anyone to be my chief if I didn’t fully trust them. I’ll miss his humor. He’s a cut-up and he brought a lot of laughter, fun and joy to the office.”Todd talked about his career as well. He did “a little bit of everything” during his 30 years with HPD and five with SJCSO.

“In HPD, I was with the SWAT containment team, instructor at the academy, undercovernarcotics, I was everywhere. I moved all over,” Todd said. “At the sheriff’s office, I ran calls, I took complaints, I worked in the jail, in the streets, undercover — I did everything.”Todd enjoyed the multiple hats he wore during his career. He said it comes with the territory.“That’s what you’ve got to do when you come into a police job,” Todd said. “You’ve got to be almost like an actor. You’ve got to adjust and go with it and do it the best you can.”Todd had a viewpoint on citizens during his career. He plans on hanging on to that viewpoint in retirement.“There’s only two kinds of people — good and bad,” Todd said. “That’s the way I looked at it my whole career. I don’t care what color you are, just whether you’re good or bad.”

Capers made a few promotions to fill Todd’s spot. Tim Kean moves from lieutenant of the detective division to chief deputy, Larry Pohlmeyer moves from sergeant of the detective division to lieutenant, and Charles Dougherty goes back to patrol.As for Todd, he has plans for his retirement. He’ll do a variety of activities.“I’m going to travel a little bit,” Todd said. “I want to travel to see my daughter in North Carolina and I have a bucket list of places I want to travel to. I’m going to mix it up. I also like running cows and I’ll do a little fishing. Last time I fished every day for six months and I got tired of fishing. I didn’t think you could get tired of fishing, but if you do it all the time, you do.”But, like last time, he might decide to go back.

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Pipeline explodes near Trinity River

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A natural gas pipeline explosion at Kinder Morgan, Inc. in Goodrich caused a shut down of U.S. Highway 59 in both directions and several nearby residences were evacuated for approximately one hour Sunday morning. (Photo by Kenneth Hambrick)A natural gas pipeline explosion at Kinder Morgan, Inc. in Goodrich caused a shut down of U.S. Highway 59 in both directions and several nearby residences were evacuated for approximately one hour Sunday morning. (Photo by Kenneth Hambrick)

VFDs, sheriff’s departments among first to scene

By Jason Chlapek
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San Jacinto County-A pipeline explosion at Kinder Morgan, Inc. in Goodrich Sunday morning caused a brief scare for residents in the area.

“It was pretty scary for a couple of hours,” Goodrich Volunteer Fire Department Chief Kenneth Hambrick said. “I don’t know what the cause of the explosion was. I heard the explosion and we started getting some calls about it.”

The natural gas pipeline explosion took place at approximately 7:40 a.m. U.S. Highway 59 was closed and several area residences were asked to evacuate.

Kinder Morgan, Inc. is located near the Trinity River, along the Polk-San Jacinto County line, which prompted response from agencies on both sides of the river. In addition to the Goodrich VFD, the Camilla VFD, Polk County Sheriff’s, San Jacinto County Sheriff’s and Department of Public Safety were on the scene as well.

“It was non-lethal and a neighborhood was evacuated, but 20 minutes later, the evacuation was rescinded,” San Jacinto County Judge Fritz Faulkner said.

Once Hambrick and his department received word of the accident, he called the PCSO and traveled to the location of the explosion. Upon his arrival, others were on the scene as well.

“The DPS had the road blocked and a representative was there,” Hambrick said. “We could see from the bridge down the river where the gas was coming out. It was on the north bank of the Trinity River. We were on scene until there was no more gas release.”

About an hour later, there was no longer gas releasing into the atmosphere. According to Hambrick, he has experienced a similar situation in the past.

“I’ve dealt with them in my 50 years as a firefighter and 25 at Shell Pipeline,” he said. “Once there was no more gas release, we left the scene and traffic picked up again. It was in a remote area and natural gas is a clean gas, so when it goes in the air it dissipates.”

Fortunately for Hambrick, it was just a minor hiccup in his regular Sunday morning routine, although he didn’t say whether or not he made it to church on time.

“We were getting ready to go to church and I was drinking coffee when it happened,” the Goodrich resident said. “It kind of shook the windows at the house.”

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