Chief Deputy, Bowie County Sheriff’s Office

Robby McCarver has worked in law enforcement since 1991. He started at the Texarkana, Texas Police Department when he was only 21-years-old, and realized that he truly loved the work. “In the early years, I was lucky enough to have several supervisors that made my future career possible. Lt. Pat McElhiney chose and trained me for specialized patrol duties that led to Captain Ronny Sharp selecting me for Narcotics, SWAT, and Criminal Investigator positions,” Robby says. “Both men were highly skilled in their areas, offering guidance and training that was unmatched in our area at the time.”

 In 2008, Sheriff James Prince offered Robby an investigator’s job with the Bowie County Sheriff’s Office. While working for Bowie County, he 

had the privilege of working under the previous Sheriff James Prince, District Attorney Jerry Rochelle, and the current Sheriff, Jeff Neal. “Law enforcement is a calling. Obviously, no one gets into this profession for the financial rewards. The opportunity to help others in their times of need is irreplaceable,” Robby says. “I believe the sheriff’s office has earned a reputation in our region that we should be proud of. We have a great working relationship with our district attorney’s office, our judges, and other local law enforcement agencies. We try very hard to serve the citizens of this county and will continue to improve that service at every opportunity. I encourage anyone with a concern to contact Sheriff Neal or me, and we will do our best to resolve it. Speaking on behalf of the Bowie County Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff Jeff Neal, we want to provide the best service possible to our community.”

Robby lives by the saying, “I can only control me.” Although seemingly simple, Robby says that the saying is a good reminder of how to react in tough situations. “We all face difficulties or difficult people, and that is beyond our control. What I can control is my reaction to those people or circumstances,” Robby says. “I find that a measured response goes a long way to diffuse conflict.”

Robby is proud of both his personal and professional accomplishments. Robby and his wife, Detra, are approaching their 27th anniversary. They have three grown sons and a long-haired Dachshund named Maximus. “Our oldest son, Addison, earned his Ph.D. focused in molecular biology and is married and living in the Fayetteville area. Hunter, our second son, is married with three children and owns a thriving tattoo business in the Texarkana area,” Robby says. “Carson, our youngest, is a junior at Baylor University majoring in mechanical engineering. Each of our sons is accomplishing their own goals and making their own way, which is more than a parent could ever pray for.” 

Professionally, Robby is proud to be a graduate of Texas A&M University-Texarkana with a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences, a graduate of the Institute for Law Enforcement Administration (ILEA), and a current attendee of the Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT). “I am also very proud that Sheriff James Prince trusted me enough to promote me to the rank of Captain of the Criminal Investigative Division,” Robby says. “I am equally honored that our current Sheriff, Jeff Neal, selected me as his Chief Deputy.”

Even though Robby has a lot to be grateful for, he recently faced a difficult struggle when his wife, Detra, was diagnosed with life-ending cancer. She eventually underwent a bone marrow transplant as a medical last resort. “Thankfully, MD Anderson and some wonderful doctors were able to provide a level of care that was truly miraculous,” Robby says. “It would be impossible for either of us to discuss overcoming cancer, especially me. She did all of the work, and God did all of the healing through His physicians. She is alive and in remission because God had a different plan.”

Robby and Detra’s faith in God is an important part of their lives. They are active members of First Baptist Church and, more specifically, the Café Class. “The church and our Bible study class are integral parts of our lives that help us to live out our faith,” Robby says. “We also both volunteer for the ArkLaTex 100 Club and Clay’s Golf and Guitars (Clay Eichler Memorial Fund). These two great organizations have given generously to our community and local first responders. I encourage you to research both of these organizations and become a member or volunteer.”

Another cause close to Robby’s heart is the national attack that he feels law enforcement has been under the last few years. “Thankfully, we do not experience this in our community. There will always be individual concerns that need addressing, and we should always be willing to engage in those conversations because we literally work for the citizens we protect. However, staffing levels have been difficult to maintain as there are fewer applicants for law enforcement positions,” Robby says. “While this is a trend nationwide, I believe there are still individuals called to this work. We can offer the ability to work in a field dedicated to honor, integrity, and sacrifice for others. This will not appeal to everyone, but to those whom it reaches, we would love to hear from you.”

In the future, Robby hopes to complete the coursework for LEMIT and become a graduate of their program. He also looks forward to helping Sheriff Neal continue improving the Bowie County Sheriff’s office. “We have many motivated, highly trained deputies in our office, and we desire to prepare them to eventually take over the responsibilities of this office,” Robby says. 

When Robby leaves this profession, he hopes to be remembered as a dedicated, hard-working, loyal deputy. “I love this county and the people that I work with,” Robby says. “With a degree of humility, I do hope that the discussion for my replacement will at least include some concern over finding someone that will work as hard and be as dedicated.”

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