Early Days of the Department
The City of Bay City, the county seat of Matagorda County, is located at the junction of State Highways 35 and 60, along the Gulf Coast, 90 miles southwest of Houston, Texas. Incorporated in 1902 with a population of 2,000, today the city limits expand to include more than six square miles and is the home of 20,000 citizens.
In 1902, Bay City’s first City Marshal was Moss A. Williams who won the election with 54 votes and was presented with a certificate showing he was Marshal. His additional duties included City Scavenger, Street Commissioner, and ex-officio for City Health Officer and City Inspector.
From 1902 to 1951, nine Marshals served the City of Bay City. Frank Carr served the longest term from 1928 to 1948. In 1949 Lewis Henry Lawrence, also know as L.H. Lawrence, was elected City Marshal. He served until 1951. On April 12, 1951, Lawrence was appointed by City Council as the first Chief of Police of Bay City and served until his death in 1953. From 1953 through 2007, there have been four appointed Chief of Police who have served the City of Bay City.
Former Police Chief Roger Barker
Former Police Chief Roger Barker served as the Chief of Police for Bay City, Texas from 2007 to 2017. Roger Barker officially stepped down on May 31st, 2017. In his resignation letter to Mayor Bricker he wrote,
It has been a pleasure to serve Bay City as its Chief for the past 10 years. With 42 years of law enforcement service, I now want to devote more time to my wife (Patti, my) children and our seven grandchildren. Thank you all for your support of me and the Police Department over the years. Again, thank you for allowing me to serve and lead such a fine group.
Roger Barker began his 42 year career in 1975. Mr. Barker retired as a Lieutenant with the Harris County Sheriff’s Department in 2006 after a 27-year career. He is a graduate of Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT), the FBI Command College, and has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Houston. The citizens of Bay City thank him for his service.
Police Chief Robert Lister
On June 8th, 2017, Captain Robert Lister was sworn in to become Bay City’s new Chief of Police. Chief Lister has worked for Bay City Police Department for 19 years. Ten of those he served as a patrol officer, eight of those he served as Lieutenant, and two of those he served as Captain.
As those who have served before us and laid the foundation for our department, we strive to protect and serve our community with the utmost respect and integrity. We will continue to grow with the ever-changing world and technology and stand united to protect those who cannot protect themselves.