City works with PD to improve police operations

Published on Tuesday, 10 June 2014 23:18 - Written by BETTY WATERS 

Palestine City Manager Wendy Ellis issued a news release Tuesday stating that the city council and city manager will take immediate steps to work with the police chief and officers to improve police department operations.

 The news release also stated they will work to develop an improvement plan to address the specific issues facing the department.

According to City Secretary Teresa Herra, the council authorized City Manager Wendy Ellis on Monday to issue the news release after a closed executive session.

 One item on the agenda for the session was the appointment, employment, evaluation, reassignment, duties, discipline or dismissal of the chief of police, including the question of an employment contract.

 The council took no action on the police chief’s contract after the closed session, Ms Herra said. “The only action they took was to allow the city manager to write a press release describing the actions council plans to pursue,” she said.

During an open portion of the council’s Monday meeting, several people spoke in favor or in opposition to renewal of the police chief’s contract.

 At issue during the discussion was a report from the Texas Municipal Police Association on results of a survey it conducted of police and civilian employees in the Palestine Police Department.

 According to the report, none of the survey respondents have confidence in the chief of police’s ability to lead the department into the future, most felt that the chief of police is not a good manager of employees and all felt that morale in the police department is low.