Sheriff Harold Eavenson's office is full of photos of his family and
mementos from his lifelong career in law enforcement. Framed on the wall along side his many photos hangs something he is very proud of - his UT Dallas diploma.
It took him seven years to earn his degree while working for the Criminal Intelligence Service of the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), supporting his family, and coaching little league games. After transferring from other Texas universities, he says he knew during his first class at UT Dallas that he was going to enjoy being a student here.
Sheriff Eavenson was raised in Lockett, Texas, a small town about an hour outside of Wichita Falls. There were two state troopers from Vernon, Texas who he routinely saw around town. One day, the two troopers stopped by his high school to conduct a presentation. He had always thought that he'd like to be a state trooper, but he says that he knew that day that he didn't want to do anything else.
He was accepted into the Texas DPS academy and thrived there, despite the warnings from one of the troopers in Vernon about how tough the instructors at the academy would be. To that trooper, Sheriff Eavenson replied that if it was so tough that he'd be sent home, then the academy would need to close its doors, because he was the last man who would leave. To his line of reasoning, the trooper replied that that was exactly the tough mentality that he would need to succeed.
After eight years as a state trooper, five years as an agent in the DPS Criminal Intelligence Service, and another five years as a Sergeant in the DPS Criminal Intelligence Service, Sheriff Eavenson took a job as Director of Security for First National Bank of Dallas. This was following his graduation from UT Dallas in 1979, and he says the bank made him an offer he couldn't refuse. He worked in bank security for the next 16 years, becoming an expert in bank security and producing a robbery response video that has been used by banks in several states. In 1995, he founded his own consulting company, Harold Eavenson & Associates, Inc.
It was in 2000, as his consulting business was booming, that he was approached to run for Sheriff of Rockwall County. Over the next three weeks, Sheriff Eavenson talked about the decision with numerous friends and family. At the urging of his wife and many friends who thought he'd be perfect for the job, he decided that this was something he should do. He was elected sheriff of Rockwall County and took office on January 1, 2001.
He hasn't looked back. He fulfilled his childhood dream of becoming a state trooper, and led successful careers in the banking and private consulting business, but he says, "Never have I had a job I loved more than being Sheriff." He was just elected to his third term as Sheriff and thinks that he'll probably run for a fourth.