At 59 years old, Sergeant Alvin Schmidt sits as the longest commissioned law enforcement officer in the State of Texas. The Haskell native currently serves as a Texas Ranger in the C Company, which covers Armstrong, Potter, Randall, Carson and Donnelly Counties. As the Sheriff’s Association of Texas 2008 Lawman of the Year, Alvin believes there’s no better place to live than Texas, and his office reflects that. Filled to capacity with law enforcement artifacts and books, namely those pertaining to life as a Ranger, Alvin jokingly calls his office “a museum or a junk room,” adding that every piece of the collection holds sentiment. Nestled in a prison-made leather belt and holster, he carries a nickel plated Colt 45 engraved with the Texas flag and an old rugged cross in honor of his father.
In 1970, after obtaining an associate’s degree at 20 years old, Alvin went to work for the Texas Department of Public Safety and was stationed in Amarillo with the Highway Patrol. A year later he moved to Slaton where he met his wife, Georgia, and the two were married in 1973.
By 1980, Alvin was promoted to Sergeant and the family moved to Houston, where in the eight years he was stationed there, he got what he calls “25 years of experience.” Alvin was number one on the eligibility list and waited eight months for the first opening for a Texas Ranger, and the only one available landed him back in Amarillo.
Alvin and Georgia have two children, daughter Lisa Johnson, who works with the National MS Society in Amarillo, and son Laramie, who is the Assistant Varsity Basketball Coach at Canyon High School. They’ve lived in Canyon for 20-plus years where Alvin hopes to retire and write a book based on his experiences.
Q&A When I get in my car, the first thing I listen to is… my XM Radio. I go to Channel 6, the oldies of the 60’s, but now that I am getting older, Channel 5, the oldies of the 50’s are more my speed.
My friends and family call me… Big Al
My favorite meal to make from scratch is… A tender chicken fried steak prepared at the Chuck Wagon out in the country under the great Texas sky.
My biggest pet peeve is… Arrogance.
If I had an open plane ticket to anywhere, I would go to… Montreat, North Carolina and visit one of the greatest Americans of all, Billy Graham.
After a long, hard day, I love to… sit in my recliner and watch Andy Griffith reruns.
One of my favorite childhood toys was… My 1960 Cushman Super Eagle Motor Scooter (I still have it).
One movie I could watch over and over again is… Rudy.
If I were a character in a book, I would be… the Lone Ranger.
The greatest piece of advice I’ve ever received is… From a sign that is on the door of Roy Acuff’s dressing room, at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. It says, “There ain’t nothing going to happen today that me and the good Lord can’t handle.”
When my children grow up, the one thing I want them to always remember is… What Anne Frank wrote in her diary while she was hiding from the Nazis: “Human greatness does not lie in wealth or power, but in character and goodness.”
You may be surprised to know that I… Am number one in seniority of over 4,000 commissioned law enforcement officers with the Texas Department of Public Safety.
One habit I wish I could break is… Procrastination.
My guilty pleasure is… Having 2nd and 3rd helpings of chicken fried steak.
If I had the time, I would… Like to clear up some old murder cases.
My favorite bad-for-me-food is… Besides my wife’s millionaire pie, some more chicken fried steak.
The thing I love the most about living in Canyon is … Because it is in the Panhandle of Texas, the greatest state on God’s green earth.