David Coulon said he wants residents to know he is approachable, and he loves playing pickleball with friends in Flower Mound.

He began his tenure as the Flower Mound Police Department's police chief May 1. He formerly worked for The Colony Police Department, where he served as chief for 10 years. He possesses 30 years of law enforcement experience, with 22 of those years in command positions.

He succeeds Andy Kancel, who retired in November after 34 years of law enforcement experience, spending 10 as Flower Mound’s chief. Coulon began his career at the Irving Police Department, where he performed a number of duties.

Community Impact spoke to Coulon about his new job, including the department becoming a certified Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement certified agency. The interview has been edited for clarity and length.

Why were you interested in this position?

This is a good town. With government, housing, streets—everything—this town wants quality. You can tell when you come into the town that they’re getting quality. So that combined with the people [my wife and I] know here, we want to be part of Flower Mound. The way Flower Mound has developed is very conducive to the way we want to live our life. Everything is spread out. It’s a very tree-friendly city. There’s tons of parks. But it’s close enough to the airport so my wife can fly out for her job, which happens a couple of times a month.

What are some things the department is doing well, and what are some things that can be improved?

They’re doing well in community policing [and] the outreach programs they have. The soft touches in building relationships with the residents really makes a difference, not only in how the town supports the department but how well you can deliver service to them. Community policing makes it so you’re connected and you have a relationship with the community.

They’re actually doing very well in just about everything. The things that we have to keep an eye on in the future is development. What development is going to happen, and how do we make sure that the level of service we’re delivering now continues to be delivered in new developments?

What has changed about police work throughout your career?

You know what the biggest change was? Body cameras. That’s huge. That’s not unheard of now for a department this size to do over 100,000 videos a year. With those 100,000 videos that take a lot of management on the back end, there’s a lot of purging. You might have seven or eight videos that are hours long each for one call. A department this size can easily spend 40 hours a week just managing public information requests for videos.

Another thing that has changed over 30 years is tech—there’s a lot of technology in a police department.

What is something you wish the public knew about police work?

Probably the most important is that officers choose this career because they want to serve. They’re not looking for a job just to have a paycheck. They want this to be their life. It’s very hard for a police officer to retire and give up the badge because their entire identity is the badge.