Drive time is a lot shorter, and less hectic, here than it was in Grand Prairie, Cleburne’s new Police Chief Robert Severance III said with a laugh.
“It’s really nice to have a short commute to get different places as far as if I need to go to city hall or even all the services available right here in Cleburne, driver’s license office, county courts and all those,” said Severance, who was a division commander for Grand Prairie Police Department. “In Grand Prairie it’s 30 minutes to an hour commute to get to any of those things.”
Selected from a pool of more than 40 applicants and hired in November, Severance officially assumed his duties on Dec. 31, replacing former CPD Chief Terry Powell, who retired last year after 32 years of service with the department.
It’s been a whirlwind few weeks exploring the city and getting to know fellow officers, city officials and residents. Monday found Severance working on situating his office.
“Everyone’s been really friendly,” Severance said. “I really enjoy the atmosphere in Cleburne. Everyone seems to know each other and is very warm, inviting and welcoming.
“My wife and I have Sea-Doos and, this summer, we went out on Lake Pat Cleburne. Which is a very nice lake, probably one of those best kept secrets. You go out on Joe Pool Lake and you have to look over your shoulder at times to make sure somebody doesn’t run you over.”
Severance may be new to CPD, but his family’s history stretches back deep into Cleburne and Johnson County. His mother, Kathy Severance, grew up in Cleburne and graduated from Cleburne High School in 1965. Severance grew up in Grand Prairie. His mother and father, Robert Severance Jr., met while attending the University of Texas at Arlington, at that time called Arlington State College. He often visited Cleburne.