HAWKINS, TX (KLTV) - One East Texas city is celebrating the arrival of a new police chief.
At 6 foot 2 inches tall and 225 pounds of muscle, he’s an imposing figure. But you can tell the new Hawkins police chief did not grow up an East Texan.
“The first man I met when i came here was a very nice taxi driver in Dallas. He talked on and on and I was unable to understand a word, not a word,” says German native Manfred Gilow.
Immigrating to the U.S. in 2001, Gilow is now the Hawkins police chief. But his road to police work was a strange one that started as a chef.
“I was a chef and hotel manager on a cruise line and I sold cars. I opened a bed and breakfast in Jefferson. But I always wanted to be a police officer,” he says.
Gilow’s style is just what the city needs, the mayor believes.
"He's absolutely the correct chief that we needed to have here in Hawkins. He is absolutely by the book," says Hawkins mayor Tom Parker.
Gilow plans to adopt a hands on approach.
“... if I can make someone’s life better, that’s all this job is about. I love this job, being a chief of police. I love it,” he says.
Because of his German citizenship, Gilow had one of the most extensive backgrounds checks available. His background was checked by Interpol.
Prior to joining the Hawkins Police Department, Gilow worked at the Longview Police Department and Big Sandy Police Department.