Confirmed: Melvin resigns as Port Arthur police chief

Published 7:01 pm Friday, May 18, 2018

Port Arthur Police Chief Patrick Melvin resigned his post Friday after less than two years on the job.

Mayor Derrick Freeman confirmed the news that Melvin was no longer employed with the city.

Freeman told The Port Arthur News via text that the city received Melvin’s resignation letter at 4:15 p.m. and the matter would be confirmed at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

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The city will have a special executive meeting at 4 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall in which one agenda item includes deliberating the duties, responsibilities and employment of the city of Port Arthur’s police chief.

An executive session means the issue will be discussed behind closed doors and possibly acted on in open session.

During the 5:30 p.m. regular meeting council will consider a resolution confirming the appointment of an acting police chief.

Melvin was tapped to lead the department in September 2016 after the retirement of longtime Chief Mark Blanton. His contract was for an annual salary of $123,000, about $4,000 more than Blanton received.

Controversy swirled around Melvin since last year when members of the Port Arthur Police Union issued a vote of no confidence against him, alleging Melvin was the reason about 25 officers left the department and also finding fault in his leadership for other reasons.

In late 2017, Melvin was named one of six finalists for the police commissioner job in St. Louis, Missouri. The job went to John Hayden of St. Louis.

Melvin told The News then he was flattered to have been recruited for the position but was happy with the direction in which the Port Arthur department was going. He said he had no intention of applying elsewhere.

Controversy continued in January when he asked the Texas Rangers to investigate threats against him and his family allegedly made by an officer during a police association event. The News contacted the Texas Rangers, who said they were not investigating any threats against the chief.

Also, during his time with the city, an investigation into police wrongdoings led to the firing of several officers, most of which are back at their posts following litigation.

Melvin served with Salt River Police Department in Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community in Arizona for just over four years and as chief of police in Maricopa, Arizona for five years.

Melvin did not return a call and text to The News on Friday.