As a kid growing up in New Waverly, Kevin Lunsford always saw himself as a police officer. 

The son of Walker County Sheriff's deputy and courthouse clerk, Lunsford was destined for a lifetime of service. Earlier this week, the 37-year police veteran and Huntsville Chief of Police received the top award from the Houston 100 Club — the lifetime achievement award.

The announcement came during this time of social distancing and safety, making the annual announcement at an awards banquet impossible.

All award winners honored by the 100 Club are nominated by their fellow officers and firefighters and then voted on, individually by our selection committee, that is composed of officers and firefighters in Southeast Texas.

“I received a phone call confirming that I had been selected for the honor out of the blue,” Lunsford said. “I was honored beyond belief and very surprised. The 100 Club are great supporters of law enforcement and I am proud to be associated with the organization.”

The 100 club is a 32,000-member non-profit organization that began in 1953, which provides financial support to the dependents of law enforcement officers and firefighters who are killed or seriously injured in the line of duty in 32 counties surrounding Houston. The club also provides life-protecting equipment, such as bulletproof vests, radio equipment and armored personnel carriers.

Chief Lunsford was given a Sig Sauer pistol with a special engraving, which is traditionally handed over at the awards banquet in Houston.

“In my 25 year police career, few supervisors have stood out as much as Chief Lunsford, ” said Huntsville Lt. Jim Barnes in his nomination letter. “Lunsford is a cop’s cop. He has served as a mentor to younger officers, myself included, and has earned the respect of not only his fellow officers, but the community at large.”

Lunsford’s service to the community includes three years as a patrol officer, two years as a detective and 18 years as a sergeant. His tenure as sergeant included supervising in patrol, training, administration, emergency management coordinator, special teams and more.

Lunsford was named interim chief of police when then Chief Allwin Barrow retired. A short three months later, he was officially named Chief of Police and has been serving in that capacity for nine years.

“Chief Lunsford is an asset to the city of Huntsville, and we are very proud of the recognition of his lifetime of service to law enforcement,” City Manager Aron Kulhavy said. “We are blessed to have him as our chief.”

The Huntsville Police Department currently employs 60 sworn officers and nine civilians comprising two main divisions — the Uniformed Services Division and the Support Services Division.

“We have a great department consisting of very dedicated, professional officers,” Lunsford said. “It is thanks in part to these individuals that I am able to accept this achievement.”

HPD currently holds a Recognition Status through the Texas Police Chiefs Association for compliance with nearly 200 identified standards for Best Practices in Texas Law Enforcement. Of the roughly 2,500 police agencies in Texas, only about 150 have achieved this Recognition Status. In November 2017, the department was re-Recognized and accredited through 2021.

Lunsford received his formal education at Sam Houston State University, earning a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and a master’s degree in Criminal Justice Leadership and Management. He is married with two children and three grandchildren.