SWEENY — Trustees did not hire just a new police chief last week, Sweeny ISD Board President Earl Mathis said, they hired someone as close as family.
Marcus Way took his oath as the district’s new chief Oct. 8 as the district’s board of trustees, family members and other attendees looked on.
“He has a brother in the district. He has a brother that supports the district greatly and parents that volunteer and substitute in the district so, in my opinion, we are not just hiring a police chief, we are hiring family, and that comes from my heart,” Mathis said.
Way replaces John Ideus, who retired after 14 years with the district.
One of Way’s family members informed him Sweeny ISD had an opening for a police chief, and Way contemplated it for a few days before putting in his application.
Way moved with his family to Lake Jackson when he was about 5 years old and lived there for almost two decades before moving to Clear Lake. Way is excited to be back in Brazoria County, he said.
“I am so excited to be here, and I want to tell you that I will be coming to work every day with a purpose,” he said to the audience members after taking his oath. “My No. 1 priority is that your children come home safe to you.”
Way is an experienced officer. Before coming to Sweeny ISD, he worked for the Clear Lake Shores and Kemah police departments, Superintendent Tory Hill said.
Way has received extensive training as a peace officer. He has received FBI leadership training and had first responder certifications in firefighting, EMT-Intermediate and law enforcement.
“We are all aware of the importance of school safety and the safety of our students,” Hill said. “So much so that you all have identified that as a No. 1 priority for our school district. We are very excited to have Officer Way and the experience that he has as it relates to school safety.”
Way began working with the district the day after his swearing-in. The district has budgeted $73,832 for the police chief, Human Resources Specialist Shelley Rowlett said.
So far, Way is loving the job and adjusting nicely. He said he loves the staff and the students.
“I am excited to be getting the police department on track and moving forward while we give the students the safest environment that we can,” Way said.