New Huntsville Police Chief is CJ Graduate

Description of ImageIn May, Kevin Lunsford had two reasons to celebrate: he graduated from Sam Houston State University with a bachelor of science in criminal justice and became Chief of the Huntsville Police Department.

Lunsford, Class of 2010, is a home-grown Walker County resident and spent his entire career in the Huntsville Police Department, beginning as a patrol officer in 1982. He was appointed the new Police Chief in May 2010.

"I was originally from New Waverly," said Lunsford. "I started at Sam Houston State University right after high school, but I was hired at the Huntsville Police Department before graduating."

Now, 28 years after joining the Huntsville Police Department, he is leading a force with 55 sworn officers in a city of 35,000 people, which includes the Sam Houston State University campus.

"It brings back memories," said Lunsford. "I spent a lot of time up there."

After getting a scholarship from the Houston Area 100 Club four years ago, Lunsford returned to Sam Houston and earned his degree. The courses helped him keep up with changing law and strengthened his understanding of psychology, drugs and alcohol, and effective writing.

"One of the greatest rewards I received was the contact from other students, professors and staff," said Lunsford. "It is great and wonderful to pick each other’s brains."

Lunsford served at all levels of the Huntsville Police Department, including as a detective in the Criminal Investigation Division; a Sergeant for Patrol, Training and Emergency Management; an Administrative Sergeant in charge of K-9, Traffic and Bike Patrol; and as a Lieutenant over Uniformed Services and Support Service.

As Lieutenant, he supervised the Criminal Investigation Division; School Resource Officer Program; and Property and Evidence. Lunsford also served as the SWAT commander for about five years.

Lunsford earned several accolades during his career, including as Supervisor of the Year on five occasions and as Officer of the Year by the Huntsville Rotary Club.

As the new police chief, Lunsford is glad that the College of Criminal Justice is in his backyard. In addition to providing candidates for new police officer positions, the Criminal Justice Center offers the Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas and the Correctional Management Institute of Texas for continuing education opportunities for criminal justice professionals.

He was a member of the Leadership Command College in 1996 and holds a Master Police Officer certificate from The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Education, for which he serves as a certified instructor.

"Sam Houston State University is a major part of our community that we provide service to," said Lunsford. "But they are also providing service to us."

Member of The Texas State University System