Catching up with former Rockwall County Sheriff Harold Eavenson

Former Rockwall County Sheriff Harold Eavenson

ROCKWALL, TX – March 4, 2021 — Former Rockwall County Sheriff Harold Eavenson may be retired, but he’s still as active as ever in the law enforcement community. Blue Ribbon News caught up with Rockwall’s former leading lawman to hear what he’s been up to since retirement.

This past weekend, Eavenson was invited by the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association to speak on border security and asset forfeiture at their event held in The Woodlands near Houston. Eavenson currently serves as the co-chair of the National Sheriffs Association’s Border Security Committee, a position he has held for the past seven years.

“I figured they would probably want a sitting sheriff to serve as the co-chair. But the chairman called me about three weeks ago and wanted to know if I was still willing to continue to serve as co-chair of the committee. I told him I would be happy to do that,” Eavenson said.

Looking back on his service as sheriff, Eavenson said he’s proud to have helped turn the Rockwall County jail and detention center into one of the most respected jails in the state. He said he owes a lot of that to a strong support system, including former Rockwall County Jail Commander Bob Guzik, who ran the jail for 15 years before retiring in 2015.

Eavenson was recognized for his 20 years of service as Rockwall County Sheriff by the Rockwall County Commissioners Court in December 2020.

Eavenson said he’s pleased with progress of the new jail expansion, which will see an increase in beds to 444 total.

“The new jail will serve Rockwall County I hope for at least the next 10 years, if not 15 years,” he said. “It was something that was good for the county, and very much needed to accommodate the increase in the population of the county, and therefore the increase of inmates in our jail.”

Another highlight of his career was when Eavenson visited Israel and had the chance to learn from their military and law enforcement officials about how they run their security. The opportunity was part of a two-week training program called the National Sheriffs Institute for First Term Sheriffs, which Eavenson decided to partake in shortly after he was elected sheriff.

“To me, they are the model of how things get done from a security and intelligence standpoint,” Eavenson said.

It was during this training program that Eavenson’s resume found its way to the then-president of the National Sheriffs Association. In 2007, he was elected to the NSA board of directors. He went on to serve as secretary, treasurer, and vice president of the NSA before he was chosen to become the president in the summer of 2017. He notes his term as NSA president as one of his most proudest accomplishments of his career.

Eavenson and other representatives from the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) were invited to the White House in 2018 to meet with then-President Donald Trump. Official White House photo by Sheala Craighead.

After Eavenson officially retired at the end of 2020, Terry Garrett was elected to serve as the new sheriff of the county. Eavenson gives his full support to the longtime lawman in his new role.

“I am completely in support of Sheriff Terry Garrett. I think he will do a great job as Sheriff,” Eavenson said.

When he’s not volunteering and giving his time to the community he loves, you can likely find Eavenson on the golf course – one of his favorite pastimes.

Looking back on his 20 years as Rockwall’s leading lawman, Eavenson feels blessed that he decided to take the opportunity to run for sheriff.

“Back when I was thinking about the offer to run for sheriff, I thought, maybe this is something I’m supposed to do,” he said. “And now I think it clearly was something I was supposed to do. I never would have thought I would have served five terms – maybe three at the most. If I could’ve written the script on how to finish my career, I couldn’t have done any better than the way it turned out.”

Blue Ribbon News staff report.

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