On August 1, 1985, Morris Brown, Chief Deputy Andrews County Sheriff's Office telephoned Chief Deputy Harvey Glenn of the Winkler County Sheriff's Office. The purpose of this phone call was to inform Chief Deputy Glenn of a trailer load of watermelons and beans that had been stolen from Andrews County and was possibly entering into Winkler County.
As a result of their conversation, the two veteran lawmen realized that there was a need for more cooperation and communication between neighboring law enforcement agencies, and in particular Sheriff's Offices. On August 12, 1985, Brown and Glenn held a meeting in Odessa that was also attended by eleven other Chief Deputies. The Texas Chief Deputies Association was officially formed on October 24, 1985 when by-laws were adopted and elections of officers held. The TCDA held quarterly meetings of the Board of Directors and the state was also divided into sixteen "districts" that held monthly or quarterly meetings at their discretion.
The first Annual TCDA Training Conference was held in 1987 in Lubbock, Texas.