The City of Rio Hondo names new police chief

Special to the NEWS

The city of Rio Hondo has chosen a new chief of police after almost three months of searching. Monday marked the first official day for Chief William Bilokury, who says he will serve as the city’s Public Safety Director overseeing both the police and fire departments.

Bilokury has extensive experience in law enforcement and firefighting, having retired from the Harlingen Police Department in 2013 after more than 18 years of service, and another two years of service with that city’s fire department. He also served as a volunteer firefighter in North Carolina.

The new chief is also a military veteran, having served eight years in the Army and as a volunteer with the Texas Army National Guard. While in the Army, he was deployed to Iraq during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He deployed twice again with the National Guard during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Reached by phone Monday, Bilokury said he feels good about being named chief. “It’s an excellent opportunity to work for the city,” he said.

He elaborated saying he was looking forward to continuing his work in law enforcement. “My immediate goal is to continue to maintain a police department presence for the city,” he said. Bilokury said he doesn’t foresee any personnel changes and that his “reception has been real good.”

Indeed, Mayor Gus Olivares was quick to say how pleased the city is with its new hire. “We’re excited about him being on board and bringing some direction to us,” he said.

Bilokury “meets the three criteria we were looking for in a candidate,” Olivares said of Bilokury’s military, law enforcement, and firefighting background. “I believe a lot of improvements are coming our way” he said.

Chief Bilokury replaces Weldon Matlock, who tendered his resignation in September and who served the city of Rio Hondo as chief of police for just over four years.

The city introduced Bilokury to the city on Tuesday night during its regularly scheduled Commission Meeting at City Hall.

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