A 23-year veteran of the College Station Police Department has been named its new chief.

Billy Couch has served as assistant chief of the department since 2013.

Interim City Manager Jeff Capps announced his promotion on Thursday.

“Chief Couch has excelled in every position he's held, and we're looking forward to seeing what he and our police department will accomplish under his leadership,” Capps said in a statement posted on the city's website. “Chief Couch clearly has a passion for our city and community, and he'll ensure College Station PD continues to work hand-in-hand with all who entrust us with their safety.”

Couch replaces Scott McCollum, who retired in April after a 35-year career with the department.

Couch began his career with the department as a patrol officer in 1997. He served as a drug investigator, a SWAT member, a traffic sergeant and a patrol lieutenant before being promoted to assistant chief.

He is credited with creating a full-time patrol unit for the Northgate entertainment district and leading the initiative to equip officers with body cameras.

“College Station's citizens and previous administrators have invested in me, encouraged me and built me into the public servant I am today,” Couch said in a statement. “The values and principles of this city make College Station a special place to call home. We have an incredible team of dedicated professionals who serve this community with a passion for excellence, and I’m honored to have been selected to serve as their next police chief.”

Couch earned a bachelor's degree from Texas A&M University and a master's degree from Sam Houston State University. He is also a graduate of the FBI's National Academy.

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