‘It’s time for me to move forward’: Mesquite police chief announces departure

Some of Cato’s career accomplishments include facilitating new community engagement programs, re-establishing the K-9 unit

Some of Cato’s career accomplishments include facilitating new community engagement programs, re-establishing the K-9 unit and diversifying the staff.

MESQUITE, Texas — Mesquite Police Chief Charles Cato announced he’s leaving after serving five years with the department.

Cato was sworn in as police chief in March 2016.

“It is time for me to move forward to the next chapter of my professional and person life. I want to thank all the men and women of the department for their commitment, the city council for their support and the city manager for providing me the incredible privilege to serve as the police chief” Cato said in a new release Friday. 

The news release highlights some of Cato’s career accomplishments, including facilitating new community engagement programs, re-establishing the K-9 unit and diversifying the staff. 

In 2019, Cato was presented the Patriot Award by One Community for displaying engagement in building trust between law enforcement and the neighborhoods Mesquite police served. 

Cato also served as a big brother at a local elementary school through Big Brothers Big Sister of Greater Dallas. 

According to the news release, under Cato’s leadership, Mesquite saw nearly a 13% decline in overall crime based on the FBI’ Uniform Crime Reporting Program. 

“Mesquite is a better community and safer city today because of Charlie Cato. Each day he displayed genuine interest in the people of Mesquite and the safety and well-being of the officers he led,” Mesquite City Manager Cliff Keheley said.

“One’s actions often define one’s character – and Charlie’s fair and ethical treatment of others and his unwavering professionalism was the embodiment of his extraordinary character as a person and police chief,” he continued. 

The Mesquite Police Department said the City will begin a national search for Cato’s replacement. In the meantime, Assistant Police Chief David Faaborg will serve as interim police chief.