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Section A: General News


Confusion continues for China Grove residents, police


Confusion continues for China Grove residents, police
Former China Grove Reserve Officer John Jenkins Jr. (left) and former Police Chief Larry Davis listen to concerns raised by citizens during the March 6 city council meeting.


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Wilson County News
March 12, 2014
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Concerns continue to be raised by residents here about the status of the China Grove Police Department -- which has not operated in three months. This was evidenced by those who addressed the China Grove City Council at its March 6 meeting.

Former Mayor Dennis Dunk expressed frustration over unresolved code-compliance issues at two properties located near his house. Dunk said he first reported the violations -- tall grass at 6820 Via Acuna and illegal dumping at 6720 Via Acuna --Nov. 16, and that he has raised the issue at each subsequent council meeting.

The only response Dunk said he received is that the city attorney would address the situation. An open records request he submitted, in which he asked for copies of correspondence supporting this claim, went unanswered, Dunk said.

Dunk, along with Alice Pollock, also addressed a March 5 article in the Wilson County News about former Police Chief Larry Davis and former Reserve Officer John Jenkins Jr. still being listed by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) as actively commissioned city police officers. Because the appropriate paperwork was not filed when the officers’ employment was severed in December, China Grove could be subject to administrative and financial penalties. (See “Davis still China Grove chief,” March 5.)

“I would just hope the city would not put our funds in jeopardy because that would cost the city a lot of money,” Dunk said.

Pollock chided the current administration for its handling of the situation.

“Poor, poor administrative work,” she said. “That’s all I have to say.”

The council also met in closed session for approximately one hour to discuss matters related to the police chief’s vacancy, including interviewing applicants and options related to filling the vacancy. When it reconvened, the council took no action.

Davis confirmed that he had applied for his former job, but would not comment further about the situation. Jenkins also declined to comment. However, a third man -- former Kirby Police Officer Michael Hetzer -- also was present for the meeting and said he had applied to work with China Grove’s police department after hearing that the city was planning to hire six officers.

Meanwhile, deputies from the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office and the Bexar County Pct. 4 Constable’s Office continue to provide police patrols in China Grove.

In other business, Mayor Eugene Ripps broke a tie vote to appoint Margie Holisky to the unexpired council term left vacant by the recent resignation of John Massengale. Aldermen John McRae and Mike Trainor voted against the appointment, while aldermen Cathy Ripps and Doug Pruski voted in favor. Holisky’s term ends in May 2015.

Also during the meeting, the council approved three business permits:

•Fast Response Rentals and Oilfield Services, 6825 U.S. 87 E.

•Bad Habit BBQ Pits, 6825 U.S. 87 E.

•Texas Toes, 7150 Whippoorwill Lane, Suite 2.

Also in attendance: City Secretary Linda Gill, Municipal Court Clerk LaToya Johnson, and Attorney Steven M. Peña Sr. of Davidson Troilo Ream & Garza.

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