David Bittle will soon exchange his police blues for a chef’s white hat and jacket. He will retire from the Waxahachie Police Department to pursue his passion for cooking with a goal of opening a food truck.
Bittle said his drive to serve the public came from watching his mother take care of people in their home. This drive has spanned more than 35 years: He’s worked as a police officer, police instructor and firefighter.
“My mom was a servant so I think that I have inherited her servant’s heart,” Bittle said. “I just want to help people out and now I am going to do that differently. She was a stay at home mom and was always cooking for people, letting them stay at her house or doing whatever needed to be done. She was in the middle of it.”
Bittle started his career as a volunteer firefighter after he got out of high school and then worked on an ambulance. He also served as an industrial firefighter defense contractor before going to the police academy.
He started his career with Waxahachie in 1994 and was promoted to sergeant in 1997. He left at the latter part of 2000 to do police training overseas.
“I was a contractor for a private company that contracted with the State Department or the United Nations, depending on what mission you were talking about,” Bittle said. “I came back and tried some other things but I ended up going back overseas to do some more training. I came back here in 2008.”
Bittle worked for several other agencies before returning to Waxahachie a second time. He said he was drawn back to the city because of people he worked with and the community.
“I basically wanted to come back home,” he said. “I didn’t grow up here but this has become my home for the last 25 years. I like the small-town kind of feeling but it is really growing fast.”
Waxahachie Police Chief Wade Goolsby said Bittle will leave a large void to fill.
“David is going to be missed and he has filled an important role around here,” Goolsby said. “He has been in traffic for a while now. He got us started with the drone and the licensing. He is a hard worker and has been a real asset to the department.
“We are really going to miss him,” Goolsby said. “I hope he does well in whatever he wants to do.”
One of Bittle’s passions is cooking and he’s been complimented on it by people over the years. This past November, in the City Chili Cook and Bake Off, Bittle was awarded first place and named the chili cook-off champion.
“I am going to try to work up some catering stuff,” Bittle said. “Try to work up a food trailer. You will see me down at the fairs and festivals. I’m going to try to work those around the area for a while to see if it might eventually morph its way into a restaurant.”
Goolsby said Bittle’s cooking expertise is a thing of legend around the department.
“He cooks breakfast for the guys on a regular basis,” Goolsby said. “We have had a hot sauce competition and he has won that. He has really got some talent when it comes to cooking. That is a side of him that not too many people know.
“He loves to cook,” Goolsby said. “When I have asked what the recipe was for a certain dish, he’s said, ‘I just put some stuff together.’ He has a talent for it.”
Goolsby said the department wishes Bittle nothing but the best in his future and sees great things ahead on the horizons for him, including having a line of customers out the door with his food truck and cooking endeavors.