By MIKE EDDLEMAN
A trio of new faces have joined the Liberty Hill Police Department.
Officers Greg Gonzales and William Potter will be on patrol in the community, while Julie Sullivan offers increased administrative and community support at the department.
“With these three, they each have great skill sets and character traits that fit the criteria of what we’re looking for for our police department and the criteria for what our citizens are looking for,” said Police Chief Maverick Campbell. “I typically look for candidates that will mold and fit well within the community. I also look for candidates that want to share the same vision and goals we have for the department, and I have as the police chief, and these three do.”
Potter’s story is a very personal one, that began with his own misfortune after his home was burglarized more than two decades ago.
“Right then, when I gave that police report, it sparked my interest,” he said. “I believe in helping the victims because people normally don’t know how the system works and I try to help the people that don’t know how to help themselves.”
Potter has spent 20 years as an officer, most recently working in Royse City, near Dallas. He has been in Liberty Hill two months, working to get settled in to the department.
“The people here are very nice,” Potter said, adding that he hopes everyone feels comfortable approaching him with questions or even to say hello. “I’m willing to talk to just about anybody if they have issues we can try to help get resolved. That’s one of the reasons I got into law enforcement.”
Gonzales, who is from West Texas, began his law enforcement career at the Hill County Sheriff’s Department in 1994. He has been in Liberty Hill since August.
“As a kid I always wanted to be in law enforcement. It is just a path I followed as I grew up,” he said. “I love working here in Liberty Hill. The leadership is good leadership we have here, the officers work together well, and I love that.”
The philosophy of policing is simple for Gonzales.
“I believe in building a safe community and having good relations with the public that we serve,” he said.
When residents walk into the police department during the day, they will be greeted by Sullivan, who jumped at the chance to work for the department when the position was posted last summer.
“I had been volunteering for the police department, helping out with their sewing,” she said. “I came down and offered to help the officers with any sewing needs, sewing on their patches and doing any alterations.”
She served as the administrative assistant for the Epping Police Department in Epping, New Hampshire from 2001-2004.
“I wanted to do something that makes a difference and helps people,” she said of her new role. “Having done the job for three years in New Hampshire, I know people don’t call the police when they’re having a great day.”
The customer service aspect of the job is important to Sullivan, but she also relishes the role of lightening the load on the officers.
“It also helps the officers because they don’t have to be answering the phone or answering the door all day long,” she said. “I can direct people where they need to go, and now, instead of waiting to hear back from an officer, I can often answer their question right away.”
She moved to the area 10 years ago to be near her grandchildren.
“Each community is unique and I think it is important to have officers that are coming into a small, fast-growing police department to understand this is a great opportunity for them,” Campbell said of the new hires. “We want to hire good officers who are a part of this community, involved in this community and believe in community involvement and community policing.”