To the editor,
Beginning almost 35 years ago in the mid-1970s, I chose to enter the ranks of law enforcement as a chosen occupation.
During the span of my career, I have had the privilege to participate as an officer, an investigator and to proudly serve as a chief of police. In these times, I have worked in various environments that have included both the elected and appointed chief of police formats. With that said, please accept my point of view on Proposition 1.
As with everything, the elected and appointed formats both possess strengths and weaknesses. Based upon my experience as an elected chief of police, I believe that the proposed charter amendment will foster positive change for the entire city of Brownwood.
I understand that the first appointed chief will encounter a difficult transitional period, however, once he/she trudges through that period and can do so with the absence of elected pressures, that person will begin to see positive change.
I believe that the hiring process promoted by the charter amendment is centrally important to the success of a police chief. Unlike the non-existent prerequisites of an elected system, an appointed chief of police candidate will only be considered if he/she can demonstrate proven efficient leadership through past achievements. Vital to this process is the interview/assessment phase of the hiring program.
Presently, eloquence and success as a politician are the chief motivators in obtaining the position of chief of police. With an appointed chief, a candidate will be required to demonstrate the skills necessary to be an adequate financial manager as well as a facilitator in a dynamic section of city government through a series of rigorous interviews and assessments in the hiring regimen.
I have heard and objectively entertained the opposing arguments to the appointed chief of police format. A re-re-emerging theme appears to be the insinuation that at appointed chief somehow diminishes the voting rights of the Brownwood constituency.
It seems as though these arguments have been based in emotion rather than logic. In my opinion, the appointed police chief will re-vitalize voting and voter accountability in the city of Brownwood. With the institution of an appointed police chief, a voter will become more involved in the city government with the understanding that the Brownwood City Council will be vital in the appointed police chief format.
A constituent will have a more frequent opportunity to influence the City Council and ultimately the police chief because council members are elected on a more frequent basis. A by-product of this will be greater citizen involvement in all city affairs which fulfills the spirit of democracy.
The criminal element of today’s society is at its most sophisticated point in society’s history. With Proposition 1, we have an opportunity to join the majority of the state of Texas and the United States to augment and enhance our city’s police department with the skills necessary to effectively and expeditiously combat crime
I urge each person to make an educated decision on this matter. I believe that you will find than an appointed police chief is part of that successful recipe. Please support and vote yes for Proposition 1.