By TYLER MASK
Don't look for Senior Trooper Garry Allen's patrol car on the side of the road anymore. His days of fighting crime have ended in retirement. Saturday, Mineral Wells waved Allen off with a catered event at Bluebonnet Hall, at Texas Star RV Park. During the event, Allen was awarded a one-of-a-kind plaque to commemorate his nearly 27 years of service with the Texas Highway Patrol. Allen was joined by many of his coworkers and friends.
Born and raised in Wichita Falls, Allen finally left his hometown when he went to Ranger Junior College to play baseball. Later, he transferred to Midwestern State University. Unfortunately, MSU dropped their baseball team, so Allen ended up just going to school. During his studies, he enrolled in a criminal justice course and fell in love. He asked the Criminal Justice Department who was hiring. The department directed Allen to DPS. Allen put in his application with no prior experience and very little knowledge about the field. He got hired.
“I didn't know what they did,” Allen said humorously. “Drove black and whites, and drove fast. Eat a lot of donuts. That's all I knew. I put in for it, and they took me.”
Allen signed on in January of 1987 and graduated in May. His assignment, Spur, Texas, was a place he had never been.
After nearly three years at Spur, Allen decided to move closer to his parents, who were living in Graham at the time. Although he didn't get the job in Graham, Allen applied to Mineral Wells and landed the job where he remained for the last 24 years of his service.
Allen said his initial desire to join the DPS grew out of his need for adrenaline, comparing the feeling he got from the job to the feelings he had when playing baseball – the last place he saw himself working was in an office. Additionally, Allen had a heart to help people.
In combination with a few recent events, including the passing of his late wife, Robin Allen, he decided it was time to head home and tend to his family.
Allen's plan for retirement is to spend time with his kids and watch them compete in sports. Although Allen isn't ready to head into his next career, he's not against the idea down the road.
“I'm not ready to jump feet first into another career, but eventually I might do something [involving] safety coordination of motor vehicles,” Allen said. “Companies are getting more safety conscious. The company has a big responsibility of making sure they're doing what they need to be doing, and I could go to work for one of them – helping them improve their commercial motor vehicle safety.
“Or a door greeter at Walmart,” Allen said comically. “It'd last about five minutes. I'd search everybody that would come in. They wouldn't like me. It'd be like going through the airport security.”
For now, Allen's main concern is seeing his kids succeed.
Allen said that he thoroughly enjoyed working for Mineral Wells, adding that he plans on spending the rest of his life here.
“I enjoyed every minute I've been in Mineral Wells,” Allen said.