Wise County Sheriff David Walker recently announced two administrative staffing changes following the retirement of Chief Deputy Doug Whitehead.
Captain Kevin Benton has been promoted to chief deputy, and Wise County district attorney investigator Wes Wallace has been hired to serve as captain.
Walker said he’s “pretty fortunate” to have both men serving in administrative positions at the department.
“Kevin’s been here about four years. He’s been with the district attorney’s office, and he’s been sheriff before, so he knows my end of things, what I need to do,” Walker said of his new chief deputy.
Prior to becoming captain in 2010, Benton began his law enforcement career at the Montague County Sheriff’s Department in 1987, serving first as a deputy, sergeant and later as sheriff in the early 1990s. Following his term as sheriff, Benton spent 15 years as an investigator for the Montague County and Cooke County District Attorney’s Office.
In 2008, he graduated from the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va. Less than 1 percent of officers who apply to the academy are accepted. Walker is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy.
Benton studied police administration, constitutional law, forensics and behavioral science with emphasis on violent offenders. He earned a special deputation with the U.S. Marshal’s Service Violent Crimes Task Force and special deputation with the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force.
He briefly served as a district attorney investigator in Wise County before joining the sheriff’s office in 2010.
“I’ve known David Walker and Doug Whitehead for many, many years,” Benton said. “This has always been a very professional organization. I’ve felt quite honored to be a part of it.”
He’s also quite familiar with the man who will take over his captain’s position. Benton said he worked with Wallace often when both worked in Montague County – Benton as sheriff and then as an investigator with the district attorney’s office, and Wallace as an officer with the Bowie Police Department.
“I would say there wouldn’t be any type of felony investigation (he) and I haven’t worked on together,” Benton said.
Wallace spent 20 years at the Bowie Police Department, most of those years in the administrative position of lieutenant. He joined the district attorney’s office in Decatur in 2010 when Benton moved to the sheriff’s office.
Like Benton, Wallace said he has always viewed the Wise County Sheriff’s Office as a very professional organization.
“I’ve gotten to know a lot, but not all, of the employees through my work at the district attorney’s office with the investigators and some of the patrol staff,” Wallace said. “I’m glad to be included as part of the group and look forward to working with all of them.”
He will wrap up a few cases at the district attorney’s office before moving to the sheriff’s office in mid-June.
“Wes has all kind of investigative knowledge and will fit in this group seamlessly,” Walker said. “It takes all of us to make this thing turn right. If you get people like Kevin and Wes in those positions, it just rolls a whole lot smoother.”