"Protect the city. Protect the people in it. Deter crime." That is how Officer Ben Ray describes his job at the Denison Police Department.

"Protect the city. Protect the people in it. Deter crime." That is how Officer Ben Ray describes his job at the Denison Police Department.


Ray was born and raised in Denison. He continued a family tradition by going into public service — his grandfather was a firefighter, and his father works at the Denison Fire Department.


From 2001 to 2005, Ray served in the U.S. Air Force as a member of security forces. The position entailed acting as law enforcement and guarding bases. Among the places Ray’s Air Force career took him were Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan and Nellis Air Force base near Las Vegas.


Upon leaving the military, Ray decided to transition what he learned working security forces to a career in civilian law enforcement. For a few months in 2005, Ray worked as a dispatcher for the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office, answering 911 calls and alerting officers and firefighters to calls. On Feb. 6, 2006, Ray was hired on at the Denison Police Department, where he has served as a patrol officer ever since.


No two days as a police officer are the same, Ray said, which may be his favorite aspect of the job. One day in June of 2011, Ray was patrolling when an accident involving an overturned car occurred on Texoma Parkway. A woman was pinned underneath the car, so Ray and a few civilians who had pulled over to help, lifted the car so the woman could escape.


"Most of what I do here … some people see it as being heroic or whatnot," Ray said. "I just see it as doing my job."


Ray also teaches fellow police officers and those studying to become police officers. He is a Texas Commission on Law Enforcement instructor, meaning he teaches fellow police officers courses on up-to-date laws and requirements. Ray also occasionally teaches at the Texoma Regional Police Academy, filling in wherever he is needed. At the Academy, Ray has taught courses such as crime scene investigations and use of force.


During his time off, Ray said he enjoys spending time with his four children and his wife, who is a nurse at Texoma Medical Center. Ray said he and his family like Denison, and he cannot see them living anywhere else. He feels the same way about his career in law enforcement.


"I’ll probably just be over here until I can’t do it anymore," Ray said.