Williamson confirmed as new Lockhart Police Chief


By Kyle Mooty

LPR Editor

Gary Williamson, confirmed at Tuesday night’s meeting of the City Council, is the new Police Chief for Lockhart.

Williamson is currently the Police Chief of El Campo. It is anticipated that Williamson will begin his duties in Lockhart on April 10.

The City of Lockhart received 21 applications following Earnest Pedraza’s retirement. There were five semifinalist selected, and Williamson and Port Arthur Assistant Police Chief Michael Fratus were the final two.

Kevin Lunsford is the Interim Chief for Lockhart.

Williamson has been Chief of Police in El Campo since November 2020. He was the Assistant Chief of Police in El Campo from October 2010 to November 2020. He held the position as Emergency Management Coordinator for El Campo from May 2012 to October 2020.

Williamson has also been an instructor at the Wharton County Junior College Police Academy.

Williamson got his B.S. degree in Wildlife & Fisheries Science from Texas A&M and is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia.

During a Meet and Greet with the final two candidates in February, Williamson said, “Some of the projects I had was to try to build more community engagement. I always thought community policing could be better. I’ve done Coffee with the Cops, but I wanted more feedback from the city. After all, it’s not my police department, it’s the citizens. So, I started townhall meetings to get feedback from each district because each district is a little different. The issues that affect one district aren’t the same that affects the other.

“For years we had collected data, but it was just sitting there. But we want to use that data and see where the hotspots were and having officers spend just a little more time in that area to help reduce crime.”

Williamson grew up in Galveston, and after a short stint in sales, he entered the police academy and said he got hooked in law enforcement. He and his wife have two sons, 23 and 21.

“I started my career at the Austin airport, for two years,” Williamson said. “I made the decision to go to El Campo. I started as a patrol officer, then to corporal, sergeant, investigations, lieutenant, and assistant chief for 10 years. Two years ago, the chief retired and I was promoted.”


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