The position of City Marshal was held by many through the years and the names of all Marshals are sketchy. The Marshal, which became an elected official, was sometimes paid a salary and other times depended on being paid a percentage of fees and fines he collected. Because of the unreliable pay, many Marshals did not remain in their position.
By 1897, there were two Deputy Marshals appointed to assist the Marshal. The Deputies each received a monthly salary of $60. The Marshal also received a like salary along with 5% of the fines collected. In 1900 George H. Heck served as City Marshal.
During the early 1900s D.C. Holzheuser took over and served as City Marshal for many years until his death in late 1938.
John G. Vogt was appointed to the office of City Marshal on December 5, 1938 and he served into the early 1950s.
James R. Cowing was appointed as Chief of Police on August 14, 1950 at a salary of $275 per month. City Council minutes reflect that on that same day, an ordinance was passed to create the Office of the Chief of Police. However, during the early to mid 1950s, both the terms City Marshal and Chief of Police were used. Chief Cowing served until April, 1955.
City records show that Elmo A. Anderson began his employment with the City on April 12, 1955 as City Marshall. However, City Council minutes reflect that he was appointed as Chief of Police that day. An ordinance was passed on April 26, 1955 repealing the 1950 ordinance regarding Chief of Police. This new city ordinance indicated, "The Marshal of the City shall be the ex-officio Chief of Police, and may appoint one or more deputies..."
In 1957, the office of City Marshal was abolished. Elmo Anderson served as Chief of Police until 1961.
John L. Guseman served as Chief of Police from December 1961 until April 12, 1972. During his tenure, the present Police Department building was built in 1965 to 1966. Chief Guseman attended the 52nd session of the FBI National Academy.
Chief of Police Robert H. Winley began his employment with the Victoria Police Department in February 1963 and was promoted to Lieutenant in May of that year.
Chief Winley attended the 76th session of the FBI National Academy in 1965. After serving as Captain for several years, he became Chief of Police on May 2, 1972 and served until his death on December 10, 1973.
Kenneth Rosenquest rose through the ranks of the Victoria Police Department and became Chief of Police in 1973 and served as Chief until his retirement in 1987.
Rosenquest distinguished himself and the department by serving as President of two statewide police associations, and by providing input for the betterment of Texas law enforcement at the State level. Chief Rosenquest attended the 74th session of the FBI National Academy in 1964.
Malcolm J. Talley assumed the position as Chief in 1987, having promoted from the rank of Lieutenant. He served as Chief of Police until 1991. Chief Talley had attended the 121st session of the FBI National Academy in 1980.
The Office of Chief of Police was then filled by Ronald J. Perkins from 1991 until 1993. Chief Perkins came to the Victoria Police Department from Gainesville, Florida where he had served as Deputy Chief for the Gainesville Police Department. Chief Perkins is a graduate of the 126th session of the FBI National Academy.
Chief Timothy A. Braaten served as Chief from 1993 until 2004. Chief Braaten came to Victoria from the Oak Ridge Tennessee Police Department where he had served as Chief of Police. Chief Braaten is a graduate of the 157th session of the FBI National Academy. Since leaving the Victoria Police Department, Chief Braaten became the Executive Director for the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement where he served until 2011.
In 2004, then Deputy Chief Richard L. Jones was promoted to Chief of Police, a position that he served until retiring in 2007. Chief Jones joined the Victoria Police Department August, 1971 as a Patrol Officer and over the years worked faithfully in many positions at the Victoria Police Department.
Chief Jones’ educational background includes a Bachelor of Science Degree from Southwest Texas State University and a Masters Degree from University of Houston in Victoria. Chief Jones graduated from the 151st session of the FBI National Academy in 1987. He is also a graduate of the Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement Institute of Texas.
Since retiring, Chief Jones has been appointed as a Border Liaison Officer, managing the Victoria Joint Operations Intelligence Center (JOIC). This position with JOIC is under both the Texas Ranger Service and the Texas Border Security Operations Center.
Bruce Ure was Victoria’s Chief of Police from May, 2007 to March, 2011. Chief Ure has managed both police and fire departments in a chief’s capacity over his 32 year public safety career. Chief Ure joined Victoria Police Department from the Watauga Texas Police Department where he served as Chief of Police. Chief Ure began his career in 1979 with Missouri City, Texas as a public safety officer.
Chief Ure’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences from Western Illinois University; an Associates Degree from San Jacinto College, in Houston; a graduate of the distinguished Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland; as well as a graduate of the Leadership Command College at the Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement Institute of Texas.
Chief Jeffrey (JJ) Craig served as Chief of Police from August 15, 2011 to June 12, 2020.
He came to Victoria from the Long Beach California Police Department where he served for 29 years. His most recent assignment there was as the Deputy Chief in command of the Jail, Training and Emergency Operations Divisions.
Chief Craig holds a Masters Degree from University of Phoenix in Organizational Management and is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy, Class 196.