It’s not easy to put one over on Police Chief Eddie Salame.
After all, he began his law enforcement career in 1984, has countless arrests under his duty belt, and a decade of experience as a police chief.
But dozens of local supporters did just that.
On Jan. 7, after a Rotary Club meeting, a surprise party was thrown at the Lancaster Theater in downtown Grapevine commemorating his decade of serving Grapevine as its top cop.
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“I found out at 1:05 p.m. today as the Rotary Club luncheon was ending,” Salame said of the anniversary party that was kept secret by dozens of well-wishers, including his wife, Margie, and numerous police staff and police volunteers.
Salame said the monthly Rotary luncheon was ending when City Manager Bruno Rumbelow whispered to him, “I hate to let the cat out of the bag, but ....”
Salame then saw the doors open to the banquet hall open and guests started pouring in, including his granddaughters, who were supposed to be in school.
“I knew something was up,” Salame said.
What was up was a reception of more than 100 people who came to congratulate him, listen to accolades given by Mayor William D. Tate and others, and eat cake decorated to honor him.
Tate elicited laughs when he called Salame “the standing comic of our community,” referring to the chief’s well-known dry sense of humor.
On a serious note, the mayor thanked the chief repeatedly — drawing heartfelt applause — for “serving the citizens of the community.”
After a six-minute video highlighting his law enforcement career, Salame thanked members of his department, police volunteers, city staff, the City Council and others, saying “This is a team sport. You don’t do it alone. We are on the same team, on the same train, headed in the right direction.”
Salame’s law enforcement career began in 1984, with the Fort Worth Police Department. Serving until July 1991, his assignments — in covert and overt investigations — included gang intelligence, criminal investigations and narcotics investigations.
In July 1991, Salame came to the Grapevine Police Department. He was promoted through the ranks and worked various assignments until he was appointed chief on Jan. 4, 2005.
During his tenure as chief, numerous programs and projects have been implemented, including the Community Outreach Center, Community Oriented Policing, Data Driven Management and Public Safety Officers.
Salame has been married for 35 years and has two daughters and four grandchildren.
Retirement is not on his mind, he said.
“It’s been an easy department to stay at — plus a great community,” Salame said. “I probably have another 10 or 20 years in me.”
Marty Sabota, 817-390-7367