After 20 years with the Denison Police Department, Paul Neumann celebrated his retirement Wednesday. But, the law enforcement officer’s long career continued Thursday with the start of classes at Denison High School.


Neumann is the newest campus police officer.


“It’s been bittersweet,” Neumann said of the transition. “The school district wanted me here as badly as the police department didn’t want me to go, and that’s probably the best feeling in the world.”


Neumann, who joined the Denison Police Department in August of 1999, was honored and wished well by his colleagues Wednesday with a party at police headquarters. In his time with the department, Neumann worked as both a patrol officer and a school resource officer and rose to the ranks of sergeant in 2009 and lieutenant in 2012. He received the city’s Meritorious Service Award in 2012 after rescuing a citizen from a burning building, completed the Leadership Command College in 2018, and served as Denison PD’s interim from February to July of this year.


“He’s got such a unique demeanor because he’s very serious about his job, but he’s also got a great sense of humor,” Lt. Mike Eppler said. “He’s an outstanding gentleman, a great police officer and a great family man.”


Denison Independent School District Director of Emergency Operations and Security Odis Luper said the opportunity to hire a second-full time officer at DHS arose this year and the district received 40 applications for the position. Luper expressed confidence in Neumann’s hire and said the two have prepared for the school year with several weeks worth information trainings and dry runs.


“We’ve been doing our mock walk throughs and going over all the beginning-of-day, end-of-day and outdoor procedures,” Luper said. “I’m sure he’ll have a few questions, moving forward, but he’s a sharp guy.”


Luper and Neumann are assigned to DHS, but will occasionally take turns visiting other campuses for presentations and to assist with security.


Neumann said he was proud of his service and friendships at the Denison Police Department, but looked forward to keeping DISD students and staff safe.


“It’s the best of both worlds because this job allows me to still be a law enforcement officer and maximize the time and opportunities with my family,” Neumann said. “And with my own kids the age they are, I think can relate to the students in a more personal and unique way. I’m excited to watch them all grow, graduate and go on to bigger and better things after high school.”


Drew Smith is the crime and emergency reporter for the Herald Democrat. Contact him at asmith@heralddemocrat.com.