It was a surprise to Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler when he learned the Parker County Commissioners Court was going to show up for what was described as a “tour” of the jail as part of its agenda.
While the court did take the tour on Monday, it was a ruse set up by County Judge Mark Riley, to cover the real purpose of getting the court and elected officials together at the sheriff's office.
When Fowler stepped out of the front doors, at the request of the court he was greeted by a crowd of deputies, county employees and other elected officials holding up a banner that said, "Sheriff Larry Fowler Law Enforcement Center."
"This is an honor that our great Sheriff deserves," Riley said.
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An emotional and humbled Fowler was all smiles and struggled for words as he thanked the court and the crowd.
"After 50 plus years in this business I didn't think I could ever be surprised, boy was I fooled," Fowler said following the presentation. "I feel so honored to have been reelected as Sheriff of my home county and to be here today for this unexpected event with my lovely wife by my side, it is just a true honor and joy for me. I am blessed to have so many good people to work with here in our department, this commissioners court, these elected officials and the great relationship we have with the City of Weatherford and other communities in our county. Improving public safety is our number one goal, always has been and always will. I am truly humbled by this honor."
In his 52 years in law enforcement Fowler is known to have made great strides in advancing the level of police expertise at the Parker County Sheriff's Office.
He made Parker County a member of the highly effective FAST Unit an acronym for Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team and was recognized by the State of Texas for his work in the creation of the Weatherford/Parker County Special Crimes Unit with the City/Count Cooperation Award.
Having started his career with the Weatherford Police Department in 1965, Fowler quickly worked his way up the ranks and was in charge of Criminal Investigations from 1968-1971 before leaving Weatherford for a prestigious new job as a U.S. Marshal for the Department of Justice.
While a U.S. Marshal, Fowler was honored with several awards and recognitions including Marshals Service Directors Commendations for job performance while acting as liaison to Commander Naval Forces Marianas' Islands during the Vietnamese repatriation operation of the island of Guam as well as for his performance during armed confrontation at Pine Ridge Indian Reservations in South Dakota.
He finished his career with the U.S. Department of Justice in 1995 as Supervisor of the Marshals Metro Fugitive Task Force at Fort Worth when he reached the then mandatory retirement age of 57.
Fowler then returned to his home of Parker County where he worked as the Criminal Investigator for the Parker County District Attorney's Office before deciding to run for Sheriff in 2004.
Now having been just reelected to a fourth term as Sheriff, Fowlers focus has been on his departments protection of the county's citizens and their property during a time of intense population growth.
The Parker County Commissioners Court thanks, honors and celebrates Larry Fowler for his lifelong hard work and service to others and his tremendous impact on Parker County and the Parker County Law Enforcement community and hereby names the Parker County Sheriff's Office the Sheriff Larry Fowler Law Enforcement Center.