Se­ri­ously hurt in wreck, po­lice chief back on duty

Lib­erty Hill ral­lies in sup­port of Camp­bell, who needs aid to walk.

Austin American-Statesman - - METRO & STATE - By Claire Os­born cos­born@states­man.com

Lib­erty Hill Po­lice Chief Mav­er­ick Camp­bell is re­turn­ing to light duty at work this week af­ter he was se­ri­ously in­jured in a car wreck six weeks ago in Austin.

Both Camp­bell, 41, and his wife, Nancy, 39, were in a mini­van when it was rear-ended June 22. They were taken to Dell Se­ton Med­i­cal Cen­ter af­ter the crash.

Mav­er­ick Camp­bell said Mon­day that his wife re­ceived less se­ri­ous in­juries than he did. He de­clined to dis­cuss de­tails of the wreck or their in­juries but said he still needs as­sis­tance walk­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to a Texas Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion crash re­port, the Camp­bells were in a 2017 Dodge Car­a­van stopped at a red light on the south­bound frontage road of In­ter­state 35 at Ben White Boule­vard when the driver of a 1997 GMC pickup hit them from be­hind at 8:48 a.m. The im­pact forced the Dodge into the back of a trac­tor-trailer in front of the Camp­bells, the re­port said.

The driver of the GMC, 55-yearold Jorge Gutierrez, was charged with fol­low­ing too closely, ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

While Mav­er­ick has been re­cu­per­at­ing, there have been at least two fundrais­ers in Lib­erty Hill for the cou­ple, who have five chil­dren.

“Chief Camp­bell is very wellloved in the com­mu­nity,” said Carl Braun, the manag­ing part­ner of the Lazy Tree Ranch, where a ben­e­fit was held for the Camp­bells on July 23. “He’s got a beau­ti­ful fam­ily and is a good Chris­tian man. When some­thing like this hap­pens to a good per­son, the whole com­mu­nity pulls to­gether

to help.”

A ben­e­fit also was held Thurs­day at the Dahlia Cafe. Brian John­ston, who works at the restau­rant his par­ents own, said Camp­bell is “a re­ally nice man” who is very in­volved in the com­mu­nity.

Camp­bell said he’s used to help­ing other peo­ple, so it’s been “very hum­bling” to re­ceive help from the fundrais­ers. “It’s a won­der­ful ex­pe­ri­ence to be part of this giv­ing com­mu­nity,” he said.

He went to the fundraiser at the Dahlia Cafe and said the most im­por­tant thing about it “was to be able to see the peo­ple there, to spend time with them and their fam­i­lies.”

Mayor Con­nie Fuller said Camp­bell is a “won­der­ful” po­lice chief.

“Since he has been here in the com­mu­nity, there’s been a change in at­ti­tude about the po­lice depart­ment be­cause he has brought in com­mu­nity polic­ing and the peo­ple love him,” she said.

Camp­bell said he holds an event on the first Thurs­day of each month when the pub­lic is in­vited to have dough­nuts with him.

Of­fi­cers also are in­volved in a read­ing pro­gram with chil­dren. Camp­bell said he has made it a re­quire­ment that of­fi­cers need to have at least one con­ver­sa­tion dur­ing each shift with res­i­dents and busi­ness own­ers that is not law en­force­ment-re­lated.

Camp­bell, born in West Vir­ginia, was the po­lice chief in Ellsworth, Kan., be­fore tak­ing the job in Lib­erty Hill in June 2016. He is a vet­eran of the U.S. Air Force and has worked as a lieu­tenant in the Geary County sher­iff ’s of­fice in Junc­tion City, Kan., and as a po­lice of­fi­cer in San Diego.

CONTRIBUTED

Lib­erty Hill Po­lice Chief Mav­er­ick Camp­bell.

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