History of BCPD

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. Since 1953 there have been six appointed Chief of Police who have served the City of Bay City.

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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 23 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.  Chief Lister is the sixth appointed Chief of Police succeeding former Chief Roger Barker.

Robert Lister in Dress Uniform