City of Port Arthur celebrates homegrown Constable Christopher Bates with key to city

Published 12:30 am Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Constable Christopher Bates has bloomed where he was planted.

A Port Arthur native and product of Port Arthur schools, Bates spends his time as a constable for Precinct 2 and as a leader who believes it is his obligation to make the city a better place.

On Tuesday, Bates received the key to the city and a proclamation declaring Sept. 26, 2023, as Christopher Bates Day in Port Arthur.

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“Constable Bates, thank you so much, man. What an honor for us to share with you today and to have Christopher Bates Day in our city,” Councilman Donald Frank said. “It just fulfills what C.W. Lewis said we ought to do, ‘bloom where we are planted,’ and then you continue to do that in so many capacities in so many ways.”

Bates oversees a criminal justice scholarship, Christmas with Constable Bates Toy Drive and Constable Bates Junior Deputy Camp held each summer in the city.

He’s earned a number of honors from Constable of the Year, ExxonMobil Living Legend Honor, Lamar Distinguished Alumni Award, Southeast Texas MLK Support Group Man of the Year and Black Business Professionals of Southeast Texas Man of the Year award.

Bates was recently named the first African American president of the Justices of the Peace and Constables Association of Texas in its 79-year history and was named the 2023 United States Constable of the Year by the National Constables and Marshals Association.

Mayor Pro Tem Tiffany Hamilton said there’s one name for Bates that was left off when his accomplishments were read — “Cop Chris.”

“Thank you so much for everything that you do, even on the tough days, and I thank you for encouraging and pushing me, too,” Hamilton said. “Please continue to do what you do and bloom where you are planted here in our beloved City of Port Arthur, Texas.”
Bates said he is grateful to serve Port Arthur and continue to serve local residents.

Council chambers were filled with family, friends, members of his fraternity and well-wishers.

Bates is a 2003 graduate of Memorial High School and the son of Clay and Shirley Roy. He obtained his law enforcement certification from the Lamar Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree from Lamar University in 2008, Mayor Thurman Bartie said.

Bates received a master’s degree in public administration in 2017 from Texas Southern University in Houston. He was sworn in as Jefferson County Constable Precinct 2 in 2018 at the age of 27, making him the youngest elected official in the history of Jefferson County, the first African American Constable of Precinct 2 and the second youngest constable elected in the State of Texas history.