About Constable Bill Orton

A good man in a storm. The best choice for Matagorda County Sheriff.

About Constable Bill Orton

A good man in a storm. The best choice for Matagorda County Sheriff.

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Precinct 6 Constable William “Bill” Orton has dedicated 25 years of his life to law enforcement and the last 23 to the protection of the people of Matagorda County.

Whether it’s working hard to be an innovative law enforcement leader, building alliances with first responders and local and state leaders, leading our community through disasters like Hurricane Harvey or making sure the men and women who wear the badge have the tools they need, Orton always answers the call to protect and serve.

Now, Orton will be on the March 2020 Republican Primary ballot asking voters for the chance to serve as the Matagorda County Sheriff.

Orton will improve the Sheriff’s Office, increase officer training standards and make the agency an active combatant in both the war on drugs and the fight to keep our border secure. He will also make the Sheriff’s Office more responsive to the needs of the mentally ill.

And, in an office plagued by publicized examples of employee misconduct, he will improve standards and background investigations for those hired to be deputies.

Criminal investigators need to be better about following up on cases and Orton will make that happen. Matagorda County Sheriff’s Office deputies and jail personnel also need to meet all state-certified training standards. County jail policies, procedures and security measures must be reviewed and improved immediately.

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And, whether constituents live in Matagorda County or just own homes here, Orton will make sure the Sheriff’s Office enforces safety rules and laws on our beautiful beaches – something current leadership at the Sheriff’s Office is inconsistent about.

With Orton as Sheriff, improvements in beach enforcement will also be done in tandem with changes to the Sheriff’s Office current patrol strategy.

“Patrols here don’t go into neighborhoods,” Orton said. “They stay on the main highways and don’t go into the neighborhoods and little communities where crimes are being committed. That will change.”

Orton, who holds a Master Peace Officer Certification and was recently named 2018/2019 Constable of the Year by the Justice of the Peace and Constables Association of Texas, is no stranger to making changes while running an office that responds to the needs of the people.

After graduating from the Alvin Community College Police Academy in 1994, Orton served two years as a reserve officer at the Galena Park Police Department. On Jan.1, 1997, he joined the ranks of the Matagorda County Sheriff’s Office and spent the next 12 years there.

While a deputy, Orton learned every facet of the Sheriff Office. He served as a transport officer, patrol deputy, served warrants, worked on courthouse security and ran the Marine Division and Dive Team. Orton organized the first active Marine Patrol unit for the Sheriff’s Office. He led the push to get other officers certified as Marine Safety Enforcement Officers. Those efforts made patrols on Matagorda County waterways a reality.

By 2008, Orton picked up a dual law enforcement commission to also operate as a deputy in the Precinct 6 Constable’s Office.

When he left his job as a Sheriff’s deputy in 2009, he took a larger role in courthouse security. For example, he was hired to provide security in the 130th Judicial District Court. That role expanded to overseeing the entire courthouse security system.

As a courthouse security specialist, Orton provided the latest technology to protect judges, jurors, the public and everyone doing business at the courthouse.

Orton also took on more duties in the Constable’s Office.

At Precinct 6, Orton created a Marine Division for that office while supervising budget preparation, training and performing administrative duties.

When then-Precinct 6 Constable Tom Ward announced his retirement ahead of the 2016 election, Orton stepped up and offered to serve. He ran and was elected Constable. He took office Jan. 1, 2017.

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Immediately, Orton went to work building what was a one-man office into a bigger and more responsive agency that wouldn’t drain taxpayer coffers. But before he could completely transform the office into one that would eventually have ten part-time deputies and use donated equipment for patrol, beach patrols and marine enforcement, Hurricane Harvey hit in 2017.

Orton provided the leadership the crisis needed. His precinct in the southeast corner of Matagorda County was among the hardest hit by Harvey. Power was down. There was no sewer service and no clean water.

Orton coordinated with first responders throughout the region and state and local officials to make sure residents were safe or got to safety in the face of evacuations.

He coordinated the protection of property. Part of that effort involved bringing in agencies from other areas, including Bay City ISD Police Department and Brazoria County Precinct 4 Constable’s deputies, to help patrol the community.

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Orton took to social media to constantly keep constituents informed of the latest warnings and developments. The current Matagorda County Sheriff tried to silence Orton and asked him to stop communicating information to storm victims. Orton flatly refused and continued to keep the lines of communication open with his constituents.

Orton pulled constables and first responders together with transportation officials, county leaders, utility companies and state leaders assessing the devastation. He did the same thing when Tropical Storm Imelda hit in 2019. He has also continued his work to keep the courthouse safe while helping improve security at local schools and churches.

In the wake of the storms and the county’s recovery, Orton continues to work with leaders around the state, to advise and lead the way on courthouse security and to build his office into one that provides the protection people deserve and the professional standards they demand.

Bill Orton, a member of Caney Creek Chapel church, will do the same if elected Matagorda County Sheriff. He always answers the call.

Certificates, Training and Education

  • Graduate of Texas Constables Leadership College, Class 13
  • Graduate of FBI National Academy 16th Annual Texas Command College
  • Court Security Specialist
  • Hold a Master Peace Officers Certification from TCOLE
  • Basic SWAT Training
  • Advanced SWAT Training
  • Marine Safety Enforcement Officer
  • Water Rescue Awareness
  • Water Rescue Operations
  • Harbor Security Tactics
  • Taught Boaters Education for 10 years
  • State and Local Anti-Terrorism Training
  • Domestic Terrorism Training
  • International Terrorism Training
  • Flying Armed
  • Courthouse Tactics
  • Basic Instructors Certificate
  • Texas Division of Emergency Management/Hurricane Conference Training past 11 years

Achievements, Awards and Responsibilities

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Justice of the Peace and Constable's Association

Constable of the Year 2018/2019

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Bay City Tribune "Hometown Hero" following Hurricane Harvey

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Texas Justice Court Training Center

Education Committee

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Court Security Committee

Matagorda County and City of Bay City

Memberships

  • Justice of the Peace and Constable's Association
  • National Constable's and Marshall's Association
  • Sheriff's Association of Texas
  • Sargent Chamber of Commerce
  • Palacios Historical Society
  • Matagorda County Museum