City of Arlington Dedicates South District Service Center for Former Police Chief, Deputy City Manager Dr. Theron L. Bowman
By Susan Schrock, Office of Communication
Posted on March 29, 2022, March 29, 2022

Dr. Theron L. Bowman

On Monday, the City of Arlington dedicated the South District Service Center in honor of former Police Chief and Deputy City Manager Dr. Theron L Bowman.

Dr. Bowman, who became the City’s first African American police chief in 1999, was recognized for his work during his 34-year career to champion diversity, education, innovation and process improvements, professionalism, and strong community partnerships.

“He could see the future of policing and understand where it was heading. We are in a much better place today because of his leadership in helping us be prepared for tomorrow, yesterday,” City Manager Trey Yelverton said during Monday’s dedication ceremony. “Dr. Bowman, thank you for that.”
Dr. Bowman is the fifth of 11 trailblazers, civic leaders and faith leaders tapped by the City’s Honorary Naming Recognition Task Force to be recognized for their service or their contributions to the city.

Past and present City Council representatives, City leadership, community members and four generations of the Bowman family were among the many who attended the dedication ceremony to celebrate Dr. Bowman’s contributions and service. The Dr. Theron L. Bowman South District Service Center is located at 1030 S.W. Green Oaks Blvd.

Dr. Bowman began his law enforcement career with the Arlington Police Department in 1983 and quickly rose through the ranks. As the inaugural deputy police chief over the East Arlington District, he was known for piloting and perfecting the local geographic policing model, which expanded citywide as well as nationally.

“During my days with the city, I can’t think of another man more respected, more loved by the police than T. Bowman,” said Mayor Jim Ross, who entered the Arlington police academy the same year. “He was gracious, he was kind. He set the example in 1983 of what a real police officer should and could be and he continued to set the example to the day he retired in 2017. There could not be a more fitting individual to name a building after in this city than my friend of nearly 40 years.”

As chief, Bowman helped prepare Arlington for its moment in the national spotlight on several occasions, directing public safety planning for Super Bowl XLV, the World Series and the NBA All-Star games within the same 12-month period. In 2013, Dr. Bowman was named the Deputy City Manager over Neighborhood Services and Director of Public Safety. He retired from the City of Arlington in 2017.

Dr. Bowman thanked his family, his friends and colleagues, city leadership and the many who were in attendance Monday for their support during his long career with the City. He said there were no words to describe the joy he felt that he was able to celebrate the dedication alongside four generations of his family, including his parents, his wife of 36 years, their three children and their three grandchildren.

“One of the things I said when I came to work here was I wanted to leave the city better off than it was when I came,” Dr. Theron L. Bowman said during the ceremony. “City of Arlington, you allowed me to serve, you allowed me to be your police chief, you allowed me to be a police officer and a deputy city manager. And in the process, you allowed me to raise a family and have three wonderful children.”

Dr. Bowman received a bachelor’s degree in biology, a master’s degree in public administration and in 1997 he earned his doctorate degree in urban and public administration, all from the University of Texas at Arlington.

He has been recognized locally and nationally for his leadership, including by the Texas State Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. The University of Texas at Arlington named him a “University Scholar” and “Distinguished Alumni.”

Dr. Bowman also received the John Ben Shepperd Public Leadership Institute Outstanding Local Leader Award, and the Police Executive Research Forum Gary P. Hayes Award.
Additionally, Dr. Bowman served nationally as a Commissioner for the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, as an International Association of Chiefs of Police Executive Committee member and was inducted into the George Mason University Evidence-Based Policing Hall of Fame in 2012.

“This honorary naming task force had to really figure out who are those folks who have done so many things, have spent so many decades of tireless work and toil, that their name should grace something that belongs to this city. That our citizens would look to those buildings and not only be proud, but children would ask their parents ‘Who is that, Mom and Dad?’ And that story that is shared would inspire generations to stand up, to be counted and to lead,” said Mayor Pro Tem Dr. Victoria Farrar-Myers, who served as chair of the Honorary Naming Recognition Task Force. “It was a very easy decision for the committee when it came to Dr. Bowman.”

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