Revered Lake Dallas Police Officer Vikki Chandler Retires

Revered Lake Dallas Police Officer Vikki Chandler Retires

Revered Lake Dallas Police Officer
Vikki Chandler Retires

by Steve Gamel

The annual Kids ‘N Cops event in Lake Dallas once again went off without a hitch on April 27, though this year was arguably a little different without one of the program’s more familiar faces leading the cause.

Lieutenant Vikki Chandler, the longtime organizer who has become synonymous with the free event since its inception in 1999, retired on March 8 after a 20-year career in law enforcement with Lake Dallas. She and several officers started the Kids ’N Cops program, which grew in popularly because of its mix of fun-loving activities, safety training, and ability to foster a sense of community between the local police officers, businesses, and citizens young and old.

She took over as the head of Kids ’N Cops in 2002 and completed her final one last year.

Chandler was honored at a reception on March 28, where Mayor Michael Barnhart proclaimed that day to be Lieutenant Vikki Chandler Day to recognize her undying dedication and commitment to the community.

“It’s been a difficult decision to retire, especially with Kids ’N Cops … I’m going to miss it,” Chandler said. “I’ve had volunteers and family say, ‘Wow, we can’t believe it. You are Kids ’N Cops.’ But everything moves on. I’m one of the founders, and it’s a well-established program now. It’s always meant a lot to me.”

Lieutenant Chandler held many positions at Lake Dallas, including director of animal services, police officer, investigator, patrol sergeant, and finally, a lieutenant in 2015. She was always a staunch supporter of children’s safety and over 20 years received five commendations, four chiefs awards, two supervisor of the year awards, and two community service awards. According to Mayor Barnhart’s proclamation, “Lieutenant Chandler performed her duties honorably, professionally, and with a servant’s heart, and greatly impacted the Lake Cities community in a positive manner.”

Where she truly endeared herself in the hearts of many was her dedication to Kids ’N Cops. She made sure the event has always been free and open to the public, and she always had plenty of volunteers and support from local businesses who were willing to donate whatever they could to make each event a smashing success. What started as a small idea grew to include fun activities such as a haunted jail, a spring break street jam, face painting, rides, food, and more.

This year’s event was no different, as it was billed as a cook-out and safety fair.

“When you tie in how much time she put into the police department over 20 years, and all her work with kids, recognizing her in the way we did was a no-brainer,” Mayor Barnhart said. “I think the neat thing is that over the course of 20 years, you have kids who were coming to the event all grown up and bringing their own children.”

Police assistant Karen Beaty agreed.

“Kids ’N Cops was her event. It was always a big deal to her,” Beaty said. “It just made her day to do things for the kids, hoping to make a positive impact on them. That was her pride and joy. I am going to miss her very much.”

Chandler admitted she missed organizing this year’s event and that it will be difficult not going to station every day. But it was time to move on and spend time with her husband, Freddy. Together, they have five kids and eight grandchildren.

“I just want to add that the citizens of Lake Dallas make Lake Dallas what it is,” Chandler said. “They’ve helped me grow into who I am today, and I appreciate each and every one of them for always supporting me.”

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