December 3, 1986, to
March 20, 1992
Leroy Burch was born on December 17, 1954, in Wise County. He began his career
in Law Enforcement working for the sheriff's department under Rook Ramsey in 1980 as a
jailer. On January 29, 1982, he went to work for the Bridgeport Police Department and was
a patrol officer until November 1982. That year he went to work for Decatur Police
Department. He served as the chief of police in Boyd from July 17, 1984, to December 2,
He returned to the sheriff's department on December 15, 1984, as chief deputy
for Ray Aaron and served in this capacity until December 1986 when Aaron resigned. He was
appointed sheriff by the commissioners court to replace Aaron. He was later elected
on November 8, 1988, and served until March 20, 1992, when he resigned.
It was during both Ray Aaron and Leroy Burch's terms that Wise County
experienced an increase of clandestine laboratories and body dumping. This was due to the
proximity to the Metroplex that many drug-related arrests were reported during this
The third building that county law enforcement would inhabit was completed
during Burch's administration. In 1987, the building that the sheriff's department and
jail now occupy was built on the west side of Decatur, near US Hwy. 380. The building
housed 72 inmates, had a full kitchen, and many other different sections that made the
jail more modern. This included security cameras both in and outside the building that
would be monitored 24 hours a day. In addition, for the first time, the booking area had
two holding cells, and a detoxification cell. This was also the first jail built that did
not include living quarters for the sheriff.
Many of the changes were the results of mandates by the Texas Jail Commission.