When my wife and I were looking for a community to call home, safety and security were among our top concerns. We wanted to find a place where we could raise a family and not be concerned about whether we would become the victims of crime or what would happen in the event of a fire or other emergency. We wanted what most people seek in a community: peace of mind.
Police Officer and Fire Command Compensation
Unfortunately, when I joined the Jersey Village City Council, our police officers and command staff in the fire department were some of the lowest paid in the region. While our police and fire personnel are quite dedicated and awaited long promised raises, they never came. During the budget workshops for the 2017-2018 city budget, I joined my colleagues on city council to approve inclusion of funds for across the board raises for our dedicated emergency personnel. They will now receive pay that is comparable to their colleagues in surrounding communities. This should significantly reduce turnover and allow us to continue to attract excellent law enforcement and fire department command staff to our city in the future.
More recently, I joined my colleagues on city council in supporting a move from 8 hour shifts to more infrequent 12-hour shifts which will give our police officers more consistent and productive schedules while affording them greater time with their families. This was a policy change supported by over 85% of our officers and will help to retain and recruit talented officers.
Funding for Crime Control
In addition to my service on city council, I am also a director on the board of the Jersey Village Crime Control and Prevention District. This entity provided the city with over $2 million in funding for equipment and additional police officers for the Jersey Village Police Department in calendar year 2019. It is funded through a 1/2 cent sales tax. This is a 33% increase in revenues from the fund from when I joined city council in 2017.
One of my key priorities on city council is to continue our focus on economic development in Jersey Village in order to provide even more resources to our police department without the need for any increase in property tax rates.
Safety is Priority Number One
We have an outstanding police force, and it is my top priority on city council to ensure that they continue to have the tools and resources necessary in order to remain one of the best law enforcement agencies in the state.