The former longtime Dallas County Sheriff James Bowles died Saturday, his family said in a statement.

Bowles, 89, served as sheriff for 20 years, beginning in 1985, according to the sheriff department's website.

He died "peacefully surrounded by family" Saturday evening in Mexia in Central Texas, near his family farm where he had been living, his family said in the statement, which was shared by the sheriff department on Facebook.

Bowles – a Dallas native who served in the Navy and Air Force – was a Dallas police officer for more than 30 years before joining the sheriff's department as a chief deputy in the 1980s. He was elected sheriff in November 1984 and took office the following January.