A statewide search for Gatesville's next police chief led to the selection of a candidate who is well acquainted with Central Texas — Brad Hunt.
The current police chief in Keene — a community of about 6,500 people located in Johnson County — Hunt previously had a distinguished 25-year career with the Temple Police Department.
During a Meet the Candidates forum on Jan. 4 at Gatesville City Hall, Hunt said he is very familiar with Gatesville and Coryell County, having spent most of his law enforcement career in neighboring Bell County.
"I look at this as an opportunity to come home to a place I know very well," Hunt said. "I feel like the community here is very tight-knit and it is an honor to be considered."
Gatesville City Manager Bill Parry, who made the selection, said he was impressed with the quality of candidates for the position, and that he hopes Hunt will be able to begin his new role by the end of January.
"I am pleased to announce that I have selected Brad W. Hunt as the next chief of police for the city of Gatesville," Parry said. "I have made, and Chief Hunt has accepted, a conditional offer to be the next chief of police," He added that the conditions are that all Texas Commission On Law Enforcement requirements for peace officers in Texas will be met.
"We are finalizing the details, but tentatively he will assume the position as Gatesville police chief during the week of January 30," Parry said. "I am excited to have Brad Hunt join the Gatesville team."
During his time with Temple PD, Hunt filled several roles, including serving as division commander over special operations. His role involved helping to coordinate community police relations, traffic control, the school resource officer program, investigation of violent crimes, helping oversee Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) operations, hostage negotiations, honor guard and public information.
Hunt played a primary role in the Temple Police Department obtaining recognized status in the Texas Police Chiefs Association Best Practices Program. As of 2021, fewer than 10% of the state's police departments had obtained this standard. Hunt said one of his goals is to elevate the Gatesville Police Department to this level.
The program evaluates a police department's compliance with 170 best practices for law enforcement, which were developed by a committee of police chiefs and command level officers from throughout Texas. The practices include standards ranging from off-duty employment to vehicle pursuits, policies related to use of force, searching and transporting prisoners and response to hostage situations.
"These are great standards for any law enforcement agency, and it's important for any agency I'm a part of to follow these," Hunt said.
Hunt is a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va. He earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Stephen F. Austin State University with a minor in psychology.
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