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Section A: General News


Council evaluates city’s police force


Council evaluates city’s police force
China Grove Police Chief Larry Davis presents his department reports Oct. 3 to the city council during the regular council meeting.


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Wilson County News
October 9, 2013
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The China Grove Police Department’s size and efficacy are being scrutinized by the city council.

Questioned during the Oct. 3 regular meeting of the council were the number of citations issued and hours worked by officers, among other items.

The maximum number of hours officers can work without benefits was raised by the council as Police Chief Larry Davis presented his reports. The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education states officers can work a maximum of 32 hours each week without benefits. Chief Larry Davis said officers have exceeded this number in the past.

Mayor Eugene Ripps and Councilman Mike Trainor both questioned the number of citations officers issue each month, suggesting that more could be issued.

“I’d like to see some work from the police department, because this is not work,” Trainor said.

Davis advised a total of 15 tickets had been issued in September and that as of Oct. 3, 10 already had been written.

The Texas Transportation Code prohibits setting traffic-offense quotas, stating that agencies may not establish or maintain, formally or informally, a predetermined or specified number of any type of traffic citation.

Also discussed was the number of outstanding warrants from the department. Davis said it is hard for officers to have time to collect on the warrants while also maintaining other duties.

Further to this and other police issues, a representative from COPSync, a virtual system linking police and sheriff’s departments, presented information about the system. Regional Sales Manager Ty Houser said this would allow China Grove officers to connect with other departments, resulting in more efficient warrant collections. Houser said currently, the La Vernia Police Department and Wilson County Sheriff’s Office use COPSync.

La Vernia Police Sgt. Danny Pitts said by telephone after the meeting that his department has been using the system for more than a year and is very satisfied with the results.

The council also set the number of reserve police officers at two and approved the appointment of Reserve Officer John Jenkins.

Also approved by the council were:

•Two new business permits

•An ordinance setting the property tax rate at 8.90 cents per $100 of appraised value. See related article, page 7A.

•A one-year contract with Macrogirl Websites for design and maintainance of the city’s website.


In attendance: Mayor Eugene Ripps; aldermen John Massengale, John McRae, Doug Pruski, Kathy Ripps, and Mike Trainor; City Attorney Frank Garza; City Secretary Linda Gill; Court Administrator Latoya Johnson; Police Chief Larry Davis; and Fire Chief Mike Winfield.
 

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