Breckenridge Texan

Cantrell resigns from police chief position; last day to be Feb. 1

Cantrell resigns from police chief position; last day to be Feb. 1
December 05
21:52 2023

By Carla McKeown and Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan

Breckenridge Police Chief Bacel Cantrell has resigned from his official position, effective Feb.  1, 2024.

Following a lengthy executive session at the end of the Breckenridge City Commission meeting tonight, Tuesday, Dec. 5, the city commissioners approved with a split vote to accept the resignation. Commissioner Rob Durham was the only one to vote against accepting the motion. Cantrell left City Hall after his executive session meeting with the commissioners, City Manager Cynthia Northrop and the city’s attorney, Eileen Hayman, but before the official vote.

Breckenridge City Commissioner Blake Hamilton, right, made the motion to accept Police Chief Bacel Cantrell’s resignation at the Dec. 5 meeting. Commissioner Rob Durham, left, was the only commissioner to vote against the motion. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Last week, Cantrell said that he was considering resigning but that he wanted to talk to the commissioners before anything was made final. Northrop said last week that Cantrell had notified her of his possible resignation and that the topic would be discussed in executive session at tonight’s City Commission meeting. At that time, his resignation was not official.

Tonight, about an hour after the meeting ended, Cantrell said that there have been some differences of opinions and that it was something that might could have been worked out.

“I think the city’s progressing and things are moving forward. And this is just the right choice for me and my family,” he said. “I don’t want me leaving to take away from the great works that the city is doing.”

Cantrell said he is a man of faith, and he’s relying on that faith now. “Here’s my honest perspective on this,” he said. “God will always put us where we need to be. And, you know, police work, law enforcement, leadership, that’s all a calling. And when your calling is somewhere else, you can’t fight it; you just have to take the path of faith that things are gonna work out the way they’re supposed to.”

By continuing to serve in the position for almost two more months, Cantrell said, he will be able to wrap up any pending investigations and get everything prepared for the incoming police chief. Although, he said he doesn’t yet have a specific plan for his future. “My last day is going to be February 1, and so that’ll give me some time to get some things lined out,” he said. “I’ve never been one to look for a job while you’re working the job you’re working now, because that should be your focus. My focus will remain the citizens, it’ll remain my staff and the community.”

He said his discussions with the commissioners did not include their plans for hiring a new police chief. “I’m sure we’ll have some meetings over the next handful of weeks of getting some stuff lined out,” Cantrell said. “And I’m fully prepared to support my successor and help (the City Commission) find — if they need my help or want my help — to find the right person for the job. I feel great about the support the commissioners have given me my entire career. We’ve been through some tough times and had to make some tough decisions, and they’ve always supported me. I’ve no problems with that.”

The police chief said that, in making the decision to resign, he talked to his family and mentors, as well as with Northrop. “My biggest thing is, I don’t want this to end on a negative note,” he said. “Hey, it’s just not for me right now.”

Cantrell was appointed to the position of chief in November 2019 by a unanimous Breckenridge City Commission vote and was sworn in on Jan. 31, 2020. He was hired following the retirement of the previous police chief, Larry Mahan, who attended tonight’s meeting.

Starting as a patrolman, Cantrell has been with the BPD since 2011. For a few months in 2013, he worked as an investigator for the Stephens County Sheriff’s Office. Then, he returned to the BPD as an investigator later that year. He was promoted to lieutenant in 2016.

Cantrell is a Breckenridge native and attended school at Breckenridge High School and Texas State Technical College. He attended a police academy that was held in Breckenridge one time. Click here to read more about Cantrell in a 2019 Breckenridge Texan story.

Following a lengthy closed-door session tonight, Dec. 5, the Breckenridge City Commission voted to accept Police Chief Bacel Cantrell’s resignation. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Cutline, top photo: Breckenridge Police Chief Bacel Cantrell, center, resigned from the position of police chief, effective Feb. 1, 2024. He met in executive session with the Breckenridge City Commissioners at tonight’s meeting. After returning to regular session, the commission voted to accept his resignation. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)



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