Veteran law enforcement officer Paul Mosley retires
Mosley retired from the sheriff’s office April 29 and was honored with a reception at the Gus George Law Enforcement Academy, but law enforcement was just one stop in his life, one filled with a diversity in careers.
Though he was born in Greenville, Mosley was reared on a 52,000-acre ranch in California which was managed by his father. His dad played Major League Baseball with the Washington Senators before moving to California, and baseball would play a role in Mosley’s life as a young man. He spent six years playing in the Los Angeles Angels (as the team was known then) organization as a pitcher.
Mosley never made it to the “Bigs,” but he made contacts in the Angels organization, most prominently with the Angels’ owner, Gene Autry, known then as “America’s Favorite Singing Cowboy.” That led to a short career as an actor, though he never made a career out of it.
“That was between (baseball) seasons,” he said.
“Did you ever watch the show ‘Combat?’” he asked of the television series in the 1960s. “I bet I set a record for getting killed in one day. I got killed six times in one episode of ‘Combat.’”
Mosley worked in the film industry during those years, appearing in other television shows, including “My Favorite Martian,” and he met plenty of Hollywood’s stars, such as Chuck Connors of “The Rifleman” television series in the 1960s.
“Steve McQueen and Clint Walker used to come out to the ranch and ride their motorcycles,” he said. “Jerry Lewis came to the Angels’ spring training. He’d put on a uniform and he actually was a pretty good athlete.”
Acting wasn’t paying the bills, so he moved on. And that led him back to Texas where he worked for Braniff Airlines, starting in 1967. He worked his way up to the position of Director of Operations.
“But I saw the writing on the wall in 1976 and left,” he said.
Soon thereafter, Braniff went out of business. A few years later, in the early 1980s, Mosley moved to Fort Bend County. His wife was from the West Columbia area so this was closer to home for her. It was here where he got into law enforcement.
“I think we were the first academy class in Fort Bend County,” he recalled. “You had to have 70 hours of training before you could become a reserve. So we did that, and then we went back to get 240 hours to become a full-time officer.”
In April of 1986, he became a full-time deputy at the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office. Gus George was the sheriff at that time.
Like many deputies at the sheriff’s office, Mosley began in the jail, though he spent only a few months in that assignment.
“I remember when, for the first time, we did a head count of inmates and it was 202 in the jail,” he said, “and that was the first time we had topped 200.”
By comparison now, the Fort Bend County Jail averaged 948 inmates in April and reached an all-time high with 1,130 inmates at one point in the month.
After serving in the jail, Mosley moved over to the warrants unit and later to patrol. Under Sheriff George Molina, he served on the narcotics team. And, like most deputies, he has plenty of stories about life on the road as a patrol deputy.
“Most cops have stories about some of the things that happen on patrol, and then there are celebrities they have stopped or visited with at various functions,” said Mosley, who reached the rank of sergeant in the patrol division. “Some were really jerks and some are really fine people.”
Some of the names he mentioned included former Oilers quarterbacks Warren Moon and Gifford Nielsen.
“Sam Elliott was filming a movie here and he would sit on some paint cans and eat lunch with the crew…as normal as can be.”
Actually, Mosley has something in common with Elliott – they both have remarkably deep voices.
And that is part of Mosley’s future. Several years ago, he kicked off his “voice” career by recording “So the Sheriff Hired a Dispatcher.” In the past couple of years, that short piece has had more than 264,300 hits on YouTube.
He recently recorded a similar piece, “I Am a Deputy Sheriff.”
Mosley already has a daily program with his “Today in Texas.” Each day, a new Texas fact is delivered to subscribers online, from before the Battle at San Jacinto to present day Texas. It’s a free service and people can subscribe by contacting Mosley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mosley was surprised when Sheriff Troy E. Nehls asked him to become the captain over the internal affairs division. But even the three and a half years as captain, he said, helped him decelerate from being a patrol deputy.
It helped him get away from the adrenalin rush that goes hand-in-hand with being on patrol.
As for the future, Mosley hopes to do more voice-overs. He already has a website designed, ready to go. Co-workers, friends and family members attended the retirement event held in Mosley’s honor, helping him close his 30-year career in law enforcement.