Hail to the (former) chief

Former El Campo Police Chief Terry Stanphill was recognized by the Texas Senate Friday afternoon for his almost four decades of service in law enforcement. The honor was presented by District 18 Senator Lois Kolkhorst at a small ceremony at the El Campo Police Department, and commended Stanphill for his impact on the El Campo community and his lasting legacy.

Former El Campo Police Chief Terry Stanphill was recognized for decades of service in law enforcement by the Texas Senate in a small ceremony held Friday at the local police station.

Texas Senate members issued a proclamation honoring Stanphill, which was presented to him by District 18 Senator Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham.

Before presenting the honor to Stanphill, Kolkhorst read the proclamation to the handful of ECPD employees and county officials who had gathered in a conference room at the El Campo Police Department.

“Chief Stanphill embraced the principles and methods of community policing and he made effective communication with citizens a hallmark of his tenure as chief,” according to the proclamation. “Throughout his distinguished career, he handled the unique challenges of law enforcement duty with unique courage, integrity and deep commitment to public service.”

Stanphill, the guest of honor, stood near the back of the room as Kolkhorst read, clad in a dress shirt and jeans; perhaps not unlike the plainclothes he wore for undercover operations during his years as a narcotics investigator.

His days on the force officially a little over three months behind him, Stanphill received the honor with a round of applause from the audience. He then thanked Kolkhorst and the attendees, assuring everyone that he is thoroughly enjoying his retirement.

“I highly recommend it for everybody,” Stanphill said. “It’s working out really well for me.”

Kolkhorst recalled the first time she met Stanphill, after he became chief in 2010.

“I was just so impressed,” Kolkhorst said. “I have lots of meetings with lots of people all over the state of Texas and it’s something that I just cherished.”

Stanphill retired from ECPD in late October, 2020 after serving for 38 years, 10 of which were as ECPD’s chief. He began his law enforcement career in 1982 as a patrolman and K-9 handler, before eventually working as a narcotics officer, sergeant, lieutenant and assistant chief. During his tenure at ECPD, Stanphill graduated from the FBI academy and became a master peace officer.

After Stanphill retired, the El Campo city council voted to promote Gary Williamson, who served in law enforcement for 20 years and was the former ECPD assistant chief.

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