Friday, May 27, 2016
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Sunday, May 15, 2016
MARSHALL, TX (K.SLA) -
The Marshall Police Department is offering people who buy and sell items online a public place for them to safely complete their transactions.
The department this week set aside 2 spaces in the public parking lot at 2101 East End Blvd. North as Internet purchase exchange locations. In a statement, Police Chief Jesus "Eddie" Campa says the spaces are in a well-lit area with 24-hour recorded surveillance video
"Officers will not be assigned to monitor or facilitate these transactions," the police chief's statement says. "But there usually are officers close by, which should deter any would-be thieves."
As for those unwilling to meet in the Police Department's parking lot, Campa says, any reluctance by a buyer or seller should be taken as a warning about the legitimacy of the deal.
"A buyer/seller who will communicate only through email and will not provide a telephone number or attempts to make a last-minute change in venue should raise a red flag and you should walk away."
Copyright 2016 KSLA. All rights reserved.
Sunday, May 8, 2016
The Marshall Police Department is an agency that has existed and served the City of Marshall, Texas for over 126 years. As the current Chief of Police, I am the first outside that has overseen the agency. I came from an agency in West Texas in a community that has a daytime population of a million people. To maintain a high quality of life for the citizens that we serve and protect we must ensure that the formulation of our policies is in agreement with best practices. My former agency was accredited by CALEA.
Since I arrived in Marshall, Texas as the new PoliceChief, I found that the current policies had not been updated in eight years. The first thing that I did was to look at beginning the process to get the Marshall Police Department accredited with CALEA. After looking into what it would take to do such a thing for my current agency I discovered that it would not be cost effective for my agency to do such a thing. I found out that the Texas Police Chief's Association has a program called Texas Best Practices Recognition Program. This program is designed to mirror the CALEA program but designed specifically for policing agencies in the State of Texas. It is my goal that after we obtain the Best Practices Recognition that my City Manager will allow me to obtain the CALEA accreditation.
My agency does not use any private entity (i.e. LEXIPOL) to assist with the formulation process. I am a member of the Texas Police Chief's Association, and my agency is currently going through the recognition process; therefore, we are allowed to use the blueprint that they have to formulate our policies. We also use PMAM policy management system to ensure that they are pushed out and read by the staff. This system also allows us to test our employees to ensure that they are reading the policy.
The Marshall Police Department has just recently come into light with the 21st century. The department up until know would take a regular word document and make it into a memo or what they call a dear Chief letter. I was at a loss for words when I first arrived in Marshall. We have since formatted all of our general orders, special orders, and memorandums. We are using a simple number system for each order or directive that we push put. They are listed first by the last two numbers of the year followed by the number of the month, and the number of the order or directive that has been issued that month (i.e. 16-05-01).
In my agency are critical tasks, high-risk directives are not classified by the seriousness of the subject. We have what we call directives which are sent out every time that policy is affected. In other words, if I need to send out a policy revision or change then it goes out in a directive. When I directive goes out people know that it must be important because a policy or rule has changed. A memo is used when some form of information needs to be sent out to address an issue such as an assignment change. If I a certain Sargent will be going on vacation he will send out a memo letting staff know that how long he will be gone for and who will be left in charge of his command. In a way I guess we do classify them by the seriousness of the subject manner.
When training is required on directives that we put out we most, certainly do provide training. The majority of our directives involve some policy change; therefore, our staff is required to read the policy and then take a small exam via the PMAM system. When we first instituted the PMAM system all staff members were required to attend a training session on how to use them. I also have mandated training that is required by a directive where officers must attend class to gather the knowledge that I am requiring.
As I have mentioned above our review process for Directives and changes to policy are done by addressing them and comparing them to the recommendations of the Texas Best Practices Review process. Even after policies have met the required checklist of items through Texas Best Practices we submit them to our legal adviser to obtain a final opinion from him. Directives are scrutinized from the start of the creation of the document by the police chief who has ordered that such document is created. Then it is sent to our Office of Professional Standards to ensure that they meet with Best Practices, and are then sent to our legal section for a final review. All of our directives and policies are reviewed every 18 months to ensure that they continue to meet with best practices.
I would have to say that the biggest concern that I have with the directive process is that I truly have no real idea if the officers and staff are reading and absorbing the material in real time that it will allow them to recall such information when needed. They say that adults learn by repetition; therefore, lies the question do I need to keep sending out the policy over and over to ensure that the officers are retaining the material? This event could become rather costly.
An agency head can make the formation of directives and policies as hard or as easy as they want it to be. I have found that policing is not a new science and therefore does not require us to reinvent the wheel. It does oblige us to make modifications and improvements to it from time to time. I have found that the best way to do this is by participating in an international, national, or state best practices recognition process. By doing this, an agency head is ensuring that they are minimizing the amount of liability that they are facing. I have found that the more I can minimize the amount of liability I bring to my agency by providing easy but comprehensive polices and training the better off we all are.
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
Upon my arrival in Marshall, Texas I noticed several areas which I believed improvement could be made in regards to public perception of the police department. I adopted a Community Policing Based Philosophy to remove any preconceived notions that the community might have that the police were racially motivated or unapproachable. The following efforts, initiatives, and programs have been put into place to ensure that the Marshall Police Department maintains a positive relationship within the community that we serve and ensure a high visibility in the neighborhoods that we patrol.
I. One of the major areas of concern with the community in 2014, as I began to speak to them, was that they never saw police presence in the area or their neighborhood. After careful consideration on this issue, I realized that our patrol cars looked more like taxies and could not be recognized as police cars. This prompted me to change the logo and design a new graphic on the patrol units to make them visible to the community that we serve. The logo design is appealing, highly visible, and reflective at night. After installation of the new graphics on the units, citizens spoke positively of the new change and made comments as to how many new officers we had hired as they would now see police cars everywhere.
II. Coffeewith the Chief and Cops is a meeting that we host once a quarter in different parts of the community to allow the citizens to join us in an informal gathering where they can have a cup of coffee and address any issues that they may have.
(A) Catholic Church
(B) Wiley College
(C) Civic Center
(E) Bel-Air Manor Apartment Complex
III. Media relations: We strive to maintain a professional and open line of communication with the media to ensure a proper depiction of the facts. Plenty of law enforcement agencies, to name a few (Ferguson, Baltimore, Albuquerque, Phoenix), have operated under a cloak of secrecy for many years and because of that have had to deal with Public Relations nightmares. Once a year I host a luncheon of all media with in our region to address any issues or concerns that they may have and to afford them the opportunity to see behind the scenes workings of our agency.
(A). Implemented a Public Information Officer to insure that up to the minute information is pushed out and to be as transparent as legally possible.
(B) The media has supported us and has been very positive about all the great things that we are doing here in Marshall.
IV. Social Media Campaign: to keep up with the way many of our citizens communicate, we have launched a very aggressive up to the minute social media campaign to ensure that members of the community are kept up to date on any emergency issues that may arise. We have established our SM to ensure that members of the community are advised of any meetings or any upcoming city events which are sponsored by the PD.
V. Active Police Chief and Staff: We attempt to attend every event that is sponsored by the city to show the community that we have a great working relationship with members of the community. I attend these events with my family and post them on our social media in an attempt to get citizens excited about the things that are occurring in our community. I also do this to show the community that they are safe and should not have any hesitation in taking part in any event that we do in Marshall.
VI. New Motto, Vision, Value, and Mission Statements: We at the MPD believe and understand that our job is to protect the community that we serve. Every action that we take is to insure that every citizen of the City of Marshall is provided with the quality of life they deserve. "Putting our Community First."
VII. Internal Affairs: The Office of Internal Affairs was created to ensure that all members of the Marshall Police Department comply with all of our Rules and Regulations and provided the citizens with a simplified way of filing a complaint against any officer or member of the agency that violated such rule.
(A) The first city in East Texas to implement and purchase body camera's for better documentation of citizen contacts.
VIII. Office of Professional Standards: Was created as we update our policies and procedures to be current and up to date based on State and National Standards. We are in the process of becoming recognized as one of the Best Standards Recognized Agencies by the Texas Police Chief’s Association. Less than 1% of LE agencies in Texas meet this standard. This again will ensure that our citizens are represented and provided by the best.
IX. National Night Out: In an attempt to better serve the community of Marshall the MPD moved NNO to the City Square in hopes of allowing more citizens to participate in this event. In the past and in the way it was organized, attendance resulted in a little over 150 citizens participating. On our first New National Night Out Event, we had over 2,000 citizens participate. This event brought out every demographic representation in the community. This event spearhead by the Police Department demonstrated that city, county, fire, local business and the education community can come to gather and demonstrate that the streets and the night belong to our great citizens.
X. No Colors No Labels: In talking to the community, many felt that the police were racially motivated, and did not trust us. The reality was that this was a misconception built on by years of misunderstood criticism on both ends of the spectrum. This is what led me to create the ‘NoColors No Labels Initiative.’ Through education, transparency, partnerships, food, unity and faith. This initiative proves that the world can change and unite to put an end to racial misconceptions.
XI: Community Picnic: In an attempt to unite the community and build strong relationships with the community that we serve we hosted the 1st Annual Back to School Picnic at West End Park. Over 200 children and adults participated in this free picnic.
XII. MCAT / Traffic Units: In order to provide our citizens with a proactive community policing based form of policing I created the MCAT unit. This unit is detached from the regular patrol units and is designed to respond to high crime areas and address current hot zones through predictive policing based on crime statistics. The traffic unit was reestablished to ensure traffic safety and to provide education on DWI with the purchase of Fatal Vision Goggles.
XIII. DARE and Community Service Officer: George Gill is providing DARE education and developing new neighborhood watch locations.
XIV. Community Patrol Cruiser: This vehicle was purchased with red light funds and had no impact on the city budget. This vehicle was purchased to provide security and allow for fast response to an emergency situation that may occur during one of the many family oriented community festivals that the City of Marshall provides year round.
XV. ETBU, Wiley, TSTC, and MISD: Working in partnerships such as with NCNL, addressing security issues, training, and sponsorships.
XVI. Community support: Local Business, citizens, media, and the education sector have all stepped up to the plate to provide us with support when we asked for assistance in raising funds to purchase a K-9 for the agency. They raised enough money to purchase two K-9’s. The community showers us with thank you cards, food, candy, baked goods, notes, and phone calls on a daily basis in support of all the good work we have done. The community has approached me about trying to find ways to fund our major MDT project that we desperately need.
XVII. Lower Crime Rate: In as little as four months in 2014, the MPD reduced the city's crime rate by 20%. In 2015, we reduced it by an additional 2-3%, and we are on track to reducing crime by an additional 4-5% this year. Violent crimes in the city are down; drug arrests are up compared to years past. Comparing the month of March 2015 to March 2016 shows a reduction in crime of 20%. While the year to date crime rate of 2016 compared to the year to date time frame of 2015 shows that crime is down by 9%. The crime rate has dropped because of a combined effort between the citizens of Marshall and the Marshall Police Department, as we work together to retake our streets with a zero but respectful tolerance based approach.
In 2016 the City of Marshall adopted a strategic plan to ensure a high quality of life for the citizens of Marshall. The number one objective listed in the 2016 strategic plan was to provide high quality public safety to ensure safety and well-being of our citizens. The number one target and performance measure on the strategic plan is to explore and implement methods to increase visibility in neighborhoods and patrol zones. This report shows that the Marshall Police Department has reached if not exceeded those targets and objectives. Rest assured that we will not stop finding ways to keep improving and exceeding the goals to ensure public trust and confidence in the Marshall Police Department.
The Marshall Police Department has established a strong policing philosophy based on a proactive community-based strategy. The current relationship with our community is based on the hard work of every member of the Marshall Police Department and our community. As always the MPD will be true to our motto "Putting our Community First."
Chief of Police
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
People keep telling me that I only live once, however I live everyday and have done so for the past 15,926 days, 382,224 hours, and 22933440 minutes. I however have yet to die and I am sure that I will only die once.
So make the best out of everyday, live everyday. Mind your own business, care about others, but don't get in the way of those who want to live a happy and joyful life. Before you cast that stone look in the mirror and ask yourself "Am I without sin?" If you answered yes, then pray for those less fortunate and let only God judge them.
Marshall have a great week. Lets Ride the Wave and see what life has in store for us this week.