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, Fire and EMS Pay Raises
Unfortunately, when I joined the Jersey Village City Council, our police officers and 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. In 2018, I joined my colleagues on city council to approve inclusion of funds for across the board raises for our dedicated emergency personnel. They now receive pay that is comparable to their colleagues in surrounding communities. This has significantly reduced turnover and allows us to continue to attract excellent law enforcement and firefighters and EMS professionals to our city in the future.
In 2020, 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.
During my first term as mayor, the city council approved the hire of six new full-time firefighter/EMS personnel to ensure we are continuing to provide the shortest possible response times to fires and medical emergencies.
Funding for Crime Control
In addition to my service as mayor, I am also the president of the board for the Jersey Village Crime Control and Prevention District. This entity, funded by a 1/2 cent sales tax, provided the city with over $2.58 million in funding for equipment and police officers for the Jersey Village Police Department in calendar year 2022. That is a 71% increase in crime control funding since I was first elected to the city council in 2017.
In 2021, citizens approved the creation of a Fire Control Prevention and Emergency Medical Services District to ensure our fire department received dedicated funding from sales tax similar to the crime control fund. By committing half of the total sales tax the city receives to emergency services, we ensure continued investments that keep our citizens safe.
One of my key priorities as mayor is to continue our focus on economic development in Jersey Village in order to provide even more resources to our emergency services without placing that burden on our residents.
Safety is Priority Number One
We have outstanding emergency services, and it is my top priority as your mayor to ensure that they continue to have the tools and resources necessary in order to keep our citizens safe.