Brownwood Police Chief Terry Nichols will leave the department he has led for nearly three years and take a job as chief of the Seguin Police Department.

Nichols, who has been chief in Brownwood since July 2016, told Brownwood City Council members Tuesday morning his last day to work in Brownwood will be April 10.

“My wife and I have taken the opportunity to move back closer to our children and family members,” Nichols told council members. “It is a bittersweet moment to have to share this and make this decision. The City of Brownwood has been incredible to me personally (and) my wife.”

Nichols has been in law enforcement for 25 years.

The City of Seguin announced Nichols’ hiring in a press release.

According to the release: 

Nichols will oversee a department with 81 employees and his first day on the job will be April 22. Nichols and his wife, Nicky, have two adult children who live in the area.

Seguin City Manager Doug Faseler said Nichols was chosen from more than 90 applicants after a three-month search.

Nichols previously worked for the San Marcos Police Department and retired in 2010 as a commander. After retiring, Nichols became assistant director of the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) program at Texas State University, the Seguin press release states.

Nichols is a founding member of ALERRT, which is a training program for law enforcement in active shooter incidents.

Tuesday morning in the council chambers, Nichols stood at a podium and spoke for just over four minutes. 

“I could go down a whole list of thank-yous,” Nichols said. “I think it starts with Emily Crawford, our city manager. Emily had the vision and courage to take a chance on me. I did not have chief in front of my name. I did not have assistant chief in front of my name when she hired me, and she saw something in me that she thought I would be a good fit for this community. And that takes vision and courage.

“She’s been empowering and supportive of all that I ever wanted to do … and she (said) ‘go forth and prosper.’ And I think that’s what a true leader does. It allows her people to go out and do what they do and not hold them back — one of the most humble and selfless leaders I’ve ever worked for.”

Nichols told Mayor Stephen Haynes and council members they have been “absolutely wonderful to work for. Your dedication to public safety is unmatched. I think the men and women of the department know this and I will make sure they continue to hear that.

“We have a group of amazing professionals at the Brownwood Police Department. I’ve had the privilege to stand shoulder to shoulder and work with them for almost three years. I think we’ve done a lot of great things. There’s a lot of great things to be done in the future.”

Nichols said he’s put his stamp on the organization, just as previous chiefs did. “I think we leave a solid foundation to build on,” Nichols said.

“As I meet with the officers and talk to our leadership team, they’re in good hands. You’re in good hands. And I feel no doubt that Emily will bring in the right fit for Brownwood to carry on what we’ve done. City staff behind me has been incredible — great friends, great people. Sheriff Hill, Chief Mercer, the chamber, Ray Tipton and Sunni, everybody in this community is great. I’ll miss you all. I’m not gone yet. I’ve still got work to do and I’m here until the day I walk out the door.”

Haynes said Nichols has done a “tremendous job” as chief.

“Probably one of the best compliments I could give you is that since you’ve been here, I have not fielded a single complaint from a police officer about your performance or anything related to the department,” Haynes said.

“That hasn’t always been the case in my 10 years as mayor and so I really sincerely appreciate — I think the officers sincerely appreciate — the job you do. I know the community appreciates the job you do. Our loss is Seguin’s gain.”