Protect and serve: Jason McCall serves dual role of deputy and sniper

By Erika Pedroza | Published Thursday, May 12, 2011
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As a young teen, Jason McCall of Decatur witnessed the erroneous arrest of his father. That experience determined his career path.

DUAL ROLE - As a patrol deputy and sniper, Jason McCall of Decatur serves in multiple capacities for the Wise County Sheriff's Department. McCall is the sixth feature in a series that depicts several local personalities. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

McCall had flown from his hometown of Sanger to the northern United States to visit his dad. On the way home from the airport, police pulled over the vehicle in which he and his dad were traveling. They asked his father to step out to be arrested.

“My dad was mistaken to be a person who just robbed a motel in Lewiston, Idaho, where he was living at the time,” McCall said. “His vehicle matched the description of the getaway vehicle.”

Although mistaken, the exhilarating situation and professional way officials handled it drew the attention of the young McCall.

“That’s the funny part,” McCall said. “The cops were really friendly, very professional. They made me feel safe and comfortable so I wasn’t scared. I thought it was so cool. And since that day, I knew I wanted to (go into law enforcement).”

For four years, McCall has served the Wise County Sheriff’s Office as a patrol deputy and later a sniper on the Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) team.

“I chose to become a sniper because of my love for long-range shooting,” McCall said. “One of my close friends is a sniper, and he showed me what it would take to become one. So I set a goal and went for it.”

Despite the dual role, McCall finds evenness between the two involvements.

“They balance out very well,” he said. “I am a full-time patrol deputy – I patrol, answer traffic calls, etc. But I am also assigned to the SWAT team, where I have an active role as the assistant team commander and sniper. Being the sniper is an added responsibility which is completely voluntary.”

Amidst the differences in duties, McCall enjoys the two facets of public service just as well.

“I like being a patrol deputy because you run across new things every day,” McCall said. “I like being a sniper because it is a specialized field, and it takes extra training,” he said.

“I have been in law enforcement since January of 1998, and every day I learn something new. You meet a lot of interesting people while on calls and just in general. And I work with an outstanding group of individuals.”

Before his time locally, McCall served in Denton County.

Upon graduating from Sanger High School, he began working at the Denton County Jail before enrolling in the police academy at the University of North Texas.

After completing the academy, McCall worked his way up through the department and started as a deputy at the age of 21.

“I was the youngest deputy they’d ever hired at that time,” he said.

Throughout his many years, McCall has served the public in arresting drunken drivers and high-profile criminals and aiding citizens in times of despair.

However, he found the biggest redemption of his efforts in a young girl’s artwork.

“(I responded to) a disturbance while I worked for the Denton County Sheriff’s Department,” McCall said. “We calmed the situation down. Prior to us leaving the scene, she (gave us a picture) she had drawn of all of us for helping her and her mother. That stands out most in my mind about my experience in Denton County.”

He worked there for six years before relocating to Wise County in 2007, where he met his wife.

The former Amanda Peterson worked as a dispatcher for the sheriff’s office when McCall transferred to Wise County.

“We met in 2007 but didn’t say anything for a couple of years except for on the radio or when I had to call into the sheriff’s department,” McCall said. “We started talking around Halloween of 2009 and haven’t really stopped since then.”

Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Terri Johnson married the couple in January. A month later, they had a symbolic beachside wedding ceremony in Puerto Morelos, M xico.

They are expecting their first child in early 2012.

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