BEAUMONT, Texas — Onafre Tyler knew he wanted to become a Beaumont Police Department captain, but never thought that in doing so, he would make history.
Capt. Tyler was promoted to captain of criminal investigations on January 11, 2023 at the department's Appreciation and Swearing In Ceremony. He is the first Black captain in Beaumont Police Department history.
To Capt. Tyler, being promoted to the rank of captain and making history in the process is an honor.
"It was my goal when I hired on with the department to promote to the rank of captain," Capt. Tyler said. "I never thought I would be the Black [captain], but it was ultimately a goal that I was able to achieve and accomplish so far within my career."
Capt. Tyler's family has a history of making history within law enforcement. His dad was the first Black lieutenant of the Beaumont Police Department, and his uncle was the first Black chief of the Port Arthur Police Department.
"I've been blessed," Capt. Tyler said. "Those two men have inspired me into law enforcement. They raised the foundation for me. They really inspired me and motivated me to be where I'm at today."
Capt. Tyler has served with the Beaumont Police Department for 18 years. Not only did he reach his goal of being promoted to captain, but he also achieved his dream of working within all three divisions within the department: field services, criminal investigations and administrative.
"Some jobs can be deemed a little bit more challenging than others, but I’ve always liked the challenge of learning new things and try to pick up and expand my knowledge as much as I can within the department," Capt. Tyler said.
The captain's goal was to work and learn as much as he could.
"I started off as a patrolman within the department and worked there for years," Capt. Tyler said. "I served as a field training officer and had the opportunity to train quite a few officers within the department."
From there, he was promoted to investigator and served as a detective with the Southeast Texas Auto Task Force.
"My tenure there wasn't very long because, within a year, I promoted to the rank of sergeant and went back to patrol as a supervisor," Capt. Tyler said. "From there I expanded. I went to the Administrative Division and worked as the personnel sergeant and had an opportunity to work and facilitate the hiring process for the department."
Capt. Tyler went from personnel sergeant to lieutenant and worked as a watch commander for a midnight patrol unit. After that, he worked in the administrative division in the training and personnel unit as the unit commander.
Following that position, Capt. Tyler worked in the Criminal Investigations Division as the unit commander for the Southeast Texas Auto Theft Task Force.
"From there, I promoted to the rank of captain where I'm still in criminal investigations but overseeing the entire criminal investigations division," Capt. Tyler said.
After years of work, Capt. Tyler said it feels good to earn the rank of captain.
"It felt like it’s been a long time coming," Capt. Tyler said. "I’ve only been here 18 years, but it’s something that I’ve been working for. Anybody that has taken a promotional exam at any rank or grade can attest that it's a challenging process. It’s demanding. It’s time-consuming, to finally accomplish it means a lot."
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