Gonzales ISD police chief resigns


On Tuesday, Gonzales Independent School District announced “the voluntary resignation of GISD Chief of Police Matthew Camarillo,” thus concluding the over month-long saga involving Camarillo’s contract with the school district.

“GISD appreciates Mr. Camarillo’s years of service to the district, including his efforts to help establish the GISD Police Department,” GISD Superintendent Dr. Kim Strozier said. “We wish Mr. Camarillo well in his future endeavors. During this period of transition, Gonzales ISD will continue to place top priority on safety and security for our students, employees and patrons. Going forward, the district will continue and expand the proactive methods and outreach fostered by Chief Camarillo.”

On April 30, in a special-called meeting, the school board voted to terminate his contract. No explanation was given then on why. Before the termination, his contract ran through the end of the 2019-20 school year. At the time, trustees Glenn Menking, Ross Hendershot III, Justin Schwausch and Sandra Gorden voted unanimously for the action. Gloria Torres, Josie Smith-Wright and Sue Gottwald did not attend that meeting.

Camarillo was set to appeal the termination through a hearing last week, but the meeting was canceled with no explanation from either party. At the time, Strozier pointed out that Camarillo’s contract “has not been terminated.”

After the announcement of his resignation, the Inquirer reached out to Camarillo for comment.

“I prayed really hard about my decision,” Camarillo wrote in a statement. “God does not mislead us. I voluntarily resigned as GISD District Police Chief as I believe it was in the best interest for everyone to part ways. I want to thank the parents of this district for allowing me to serve and entrust your children's safety with me these last four years. I would like to thank all coworkers for their support and experiences. I want to thank the citizens of Gonzales for allowing me to serve our community for the five years as a patrol officer for Gonzales PD. I am a proud homegrown citizen and law enforcement officer. Thank each and every one of you for from the bottom of heart who have supported me in my 10 years. It’s time to take my skills, abilities and everything I have learned elsewhere. I will continue to work hard and make Gonzales proud. Maybe one day this road I'm on might bring me back home.”

According to Strozier, the chief of police position will be posted to their job board soon.