Texas Ranger Law Enforcement Association

About Us

Texas Ranger Monument in Austin, Texas

The colorful history of the Texas Rangers makes them an attraction for the whole world and sharing this proud heritage is why the Texas Ranger Law Enforcement Association (TRLEA) was founded by former Texas Rangers in Austin, Texas.

The TRLEA recognizes the dedication of the Texas Rangers through assistance with educational funding for the Rangers and their families, as well as other citizens of the Great State of Texas seeking a degree in Criminal Justice.  TRLEA also monitors legislative issues affecting the Texas Rangers, while staying committed to its non-profit status, and is prepared to help in case of catastrophic situations affecting the Rangers or their families.  As the TRLEA continues to grow, so will our ability to carry out our mission and to consider new ways to further the organizational goals in support of Texas Rangers and students seeking a Criminal Justice degree in the Great State of Texas.

You are invited to help us in this endeavor and honor these deserving individuals who have devoted their lives to making the world a better place. Become a TRLEA member or an esteemed, TRLEA Sponsor.


The Officers & Board members serve without compensation and volunteer their time to support the mission of the TRLEA.


Clark S. Willingham                     Chairman & Director
David A. Byrnes                           President & Director
Maurice Cook                              Vice-President & Director
Kevin C. Swailes                         Vice President & Director
Gordon Bond                               Director
George Thomas Cook                 Director
Chester Davis                              Director
G. W. Hildebrand                         Director
Pete Laney                                  Director
Dan Leddy                                   Director
Earl Pearson                                Director
Jonathon W. Taylor                      Director

Roland Russell

Hugo Berlanga
Dick DeGuerin
Lt. Robert Madeira
Dave Parks
Jim Schwertner
John Sharp
Gene Stallings
J. B. Williamson

James Blackstone
Paul Chapman
Jack Davis
Spike Dykes
Neal Miller
Jack Mobley
Chuck Norris
Tom Raggio
Leon Simmons


Clark Willingham, TRLEA Chairman and Director
Mr. Willingham is a Dallas attorney specializing in business organizations and estate planning. He is also in the cattle business and has served as president of the Texas Cattle Feeders Association, the Texas Beef Council and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. He currently serves as a Trustee of the Texas Agriculture Land Trust and the National Cattlemen’s Foundation.

Capt. David Byrnes, TRLEA Pres. and Director
Retired Texas Ranger Capt. David Byrnes entered D.P.S. in March 1970. He served in the Highway Patrol in Pecos, Denton, and Ft. Davis before being promoted to Texas Ranger, January 1, 1979; served as a Ranger in Midland and Snyder; was promoted to Sgt. (Lt) Sept. 1, 1986 and assigned to Co. “B” Garland as the first line supervisor; promoted to Capt. Co. “B” Texas Ranger, Dec. 1, 1991. Retired August 31, 1996. Capt. Byrnes was the Task Force Commander during the Waco/Branch Davidian investigation. After retiring as a Texas Ranger, Capt. Byrnes served four terms as Sheriff of Kaufman County.

Sr. Capt. Maurice C. Cook, Sr, TRLEA Director
Maurice C. Cook, Sr. was born and raised in Texas; joined the U.S. Air Force at age 17 with duty of one year in South Viet Nam during the war years. Fresh out of the service, he worked as a policeman in three Texas cities before joining the Texas Department of Public Safety. For the next 29+ years, he served in some capacity in the DPS with the last 23 years as a Texas Ranger. After six years in the Rangers, Cook was promoted to Sergeant, two years later to Captain, and 2+ years later to the Assistant Commander of the Texas Rangers and then to Chief of the Texas Rangers (same position as Senior Ranger Captain). Since retirement in 1996, Cook has taught on the faculty of a community college and later completed law school. Cook holds an AA, BS, MA, and a JD degree and has been recognized a distinguished Alumni from Sam Houston State University.

He assisted with the formation of the Texas Ranger Law Enforcement Association and continues to support the mission of the Texas Rangers and the Texas Department of Public Safety. He is married to Sherry Cook of Bastrop, a 30-year veteran of state government who served as the Executive Director of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

Kevin C. Swailes, TRLEA Vice President and Director
Kevin C. Swailes was first introduced to the Texas Rangers in 1988 by former Ranger Captain, Dan North and Company A Ranger Captain, Bobby Prince. He is Founder & Chairman of Swailes & Company, a family owned, Texas based investigation and digital forensics firm.

Kevin previously was an Executive with General Electric Co., and a recognized leader in the establishment of the Intellectual Property Protection Center of Excellence for GE’s worldwide operations.

He was a commissioned Texas Peace Officer; a Texas Veteran who served in the United States Naval Security Group; and former adjunct faculty in the Graduate Degree for Security Executives (MSME) at the University of Houston – Downtown. Kevin is also the former Vice Chairman, Crime Stoppers of Houston; and former Advisory Board Member for the Children’s Museum of Houston and Texas A&M’s Executive MBA program.

George Thomas Cook, TRLEA Director
George Thomas Cook, spent the early part of his professional career in Illinois, but the greater part of his professional life developing various businesses centered in The Lone Star State. Mr. Cook is a graduate of St. Ambrose University and the University of Iowa with degrees in Business Administration and Accounting. Additionally he holds the professional accreditation Certified Public Accountant, (CPA). He has spent a large part of his professional career in the logistics, transportation and warehousing business.

Mr. Cook is currently the chief executive officer of Frontier Logistics LP, who performs various services to major global companies, however the core base of operations and development originates throughout the great State of Texas. Frontier has many interrelated businesses involved in a variety of things including, rail and truck transportation, petrochemical product handling and warehousing, international documentation and logistical consultation. Mr. Cook believes that his organization should participate in many community events and organizations, including endeavors that focus on youth sports, FFA events, specialized health organizations and quality of life issues for his employees.

Chester Davis, TRLEA Director
Chester Davis is currently CEO of Ches-Lee Enterprises, Inc. dba American Fireworks. President, 5-D Investments, Inc., a Real Estate Holding Company; President, Texas Pyrotechnic Association and Vice President, American Pyrotechnic Association. He serves on the Board of the American Fireworks Standards Laboratory and the Hyde Park Baptist Church Foundation. Mr. Davis is also a registered lobbyist.

James E. “Pete” Laney, TRLEA Director
Mr. Laney graduated from Hale Center High School in 1961. He earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics at Texas Tech University. He became a successful cotton farmer and was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1972. He was a member of the Texas House of Representatives for 34 years from Hale Center (near Plainview).

Mr. Laney served as Speaker for ten years from 1993 to 2003, as well as Chair of the Southern Legislative Conference and President of the National Speakers Conference. He received the Outstanding Texas Leader Award, given by the Ben Shepperd Public Leadership Institute and the Helen Farabee Leadership Award for the Texas Perinatal Association. He is the recipient of the Gerald W. Thomas Outstanding Agriculturalist Award. Texas Tech University named him a Distinguished Alumnus and Wayland Baptist University has conferred on him an honorary doctorate.

During his tenure in the House of Representatives, Pete Laney was widely praised for demonstrating principle, integrity, and character in his leadership of the House. He was cited by Republican Governor George W. Bush as a model of legislative bipartisan co-operation, and named by Texas Monthly magazine as one of the Top Ten legislators of the 73rd Texas Legislature.

Dan Leddy, TRLEA Director
Dan Leddy currently lives in Bluff Dale, Texas. He was born in South Dakota into a family that was heavily involved in ranching, farming, construction and politics. At the age of sixteen, he attended Greggs Auctioneer School in Plainview, Texas, which led to a lifelong dedication to the cattle industry in Texas.

Dan has been specializing in marketing and the development of superior genetics, utilizing the most innovative technology including embryo transplant and cloning. His involvement has led to the development of many successful cattle operations throughout Canada, the United States and Mexico. Progeny from Leddy’s 200 head cow herd have produced many breed and reserve breed champions as well as champions at numerous county fairs in Texas.

Sr. Capt. Earl Pearson, TRLEA Director
Mr. Pearson joined the TABC as the Chief of Staff in January 2009, bringing well over 30 years of management, legislative and law enforcement experience. Earl attended McMurry University in Abilene where he was a starting football player. While at McMurry, a friend encouraged him to join the Texas Department of Public Safety, which he did, graduating from the Recruit Academy in 1976. He then spent 13 years as a trooper with the Texas Highway Patrol. In 1989, he joined the ranks of the Texas Rangers.

Earl rose to Lieutenant in 1992, Captain in 1996 and Assistant Chief in 2001. In 2004, he was named Chief of the Texas Ranger Division, becoming the first African American Department of Public Safety Division Chief. Earl retired from public service in 2005 to start his own security services company, but he re-joined the State of Texas in 2009. Earl holds a TCLEOSE Master Peace officer Certification and is a graduate of the Governor’s Executive Development Program at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin.


TRLEA Board Members

TRLEA Board Members: Pete Laney, David Byrnes, Dan Leddy, Clark Willingham, Maurice Cook and Kevin Swailes get together for lunch after a Board Meeting in Austin, Texas.