Black History Month: Meet Chief Thomas Williams

By: Michael Oder Email
By: Michael Oder Email

In small Texas towns, those who work in law enforcement can wear many hats. For Thomas Williams, of Hearne, his responsibility to the city don't stop at just being the Police Chief.

"I've been here all my life in and I've seen a lot of things go around in Hearne," said Williams.

Chief Williams knows Hearne better than most cops in town. For the last four years, he's been making sure the streets in Hearne are as safe as they can be. Trying to build trust with the community that watched him grow up.

"I have a job to do and a family to support. If you do wrong, we're going to take care of it the right way. I'm not going to show favoritism to anyone," explained Williams.

"It's not about throwing your badge around or the fact that you can put someone in jail it's about how you can help them in the end."

Williams' work doesn't stop with the Police Department. He's an assistant fire chief. He and his four brothers all work for the Hearne Fire Department too. Williams knows first hand that responding to an emergency call is critical. His own house burned down in 2000.

"Fortunately, I was able to get it out, but it was pretty much destroyed. That's a hard feeling," said Williams.

For 18 years, Williams has been a volunteer firefighter in Hearne.

"It's not that we have to go, but it's something you have to be dedicated to because you never know what time of the night, day, or what when you have to go," said Williams.

In a town with a large African American population, Williams knows he has to lead by example.

"Hearne is majority black and I think I can talk to them and they don't feel out of place," said Williams.

"Sometimes we have a lot of people throw race in it, and it's not about race it's just who you can help how you can help them," continued Williams.

"There's a lot to do in life, you just got to go out there and do it."

Advice Williams lives by every day.

In addition to being the chief of police, volunteer firefighter and father to seven, Thomas is also a back up bus driver for the school district. He says he likes to help out wherever and whenever he can.

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