The Bartonville Police Department has made great progress over the last year-and-a-half.
As I moved into this new role in early 2015, my most basic and primary goal was to ensure that: we are well-equipped with the most modern law enforcement tools and equipment; that we have policies and expectations in place that provide quality public safety services to the community; and, that we treat people well.
No matter what the contact, my goal was to have folks leave a contact with a BPD officer and feel that they were treated fairly and professionally. After a year-and-a-half, I feel like we’ve hit those marks.
Policing can sometimes be a mystery to the public. Many times it’s seen as answering calls, writing citations and making arrests. Rightfully so, because for much of its history, that’s what it was.
Modern policing however, whether in a big or a small agency, calls for a paradigm-change in that thinking, both by police administrators and the community.
“Policing with a purpose” takes what we used to do and builds a system around the old order-maintenance thinking; it changes from a reactive to proactive posture. This new thinking requires that administrators run police agencies more as a business, rather than just another service. We must ensure that the money we spend produces results.
For me and many of my colleagues, those results appear to the world as professional, educated law enforcement officers, low crime and an absence of disorder in the community. Since becoming your Chief of Police, it’s been important for me to take that thinking and apply it here; albeit in a small environment. Big or small, the goals are the same.
It takes people and tools to put BPD’s words into action. Although few in number, BPD is staffed by educated, professional officers who go about their duties each day with the simple goal of serving the community and doing good. My expectation is always that our services exceed your expectations as a citizen of this community.
Outside of the goals, expectations and personnel that make the department go, we’ve also been busy improving our technology, processes and equipment. These improvements help us to provide a more effective and efficient product to the Town.
Since 2015, we have upgraded all of our mobile video systems, radios communications gear, laptops and body cameras to brand new, state-of-the-art equipment. BPD has also installed a new web-based, electronic policy and procedure manual and began to participate in the E-filing process with the Denton County District Attorney’s Office.
We’ve improved our investigative tools and services as well through the use of services like LEADS and Accurint, both of which allow investigators a wealth of information to assist in criminal investigations.
In addition, BPD began participation in the Texas Department of Transportation’s CRASH reporting system. Instead of generating paper reports, officers now submit, correct and file accident reports electronically. These reports are available to the public through TxDOT’s website.
Our less-lethal force options have improved dramatically, too. In addition to being equipped with pepper spray and TASER devices, BPD is currently training and deploying both pepper-ball launchers and a less-lethal beanbag shotgun for use in the field. Under certain circumstances, these devices provide officers in the field a life-saving, other than lethal force, option.
Our reality is, that while we are a relatively small community with a small population, the communities that surround us are not. Our self-generated traffic numbers may also be small, but our pass-through numbers are not. Each day approximately fifteen- to twenty-thousand cars per day pass through our community; over six thousand a day on McMakin Road alone. Each one of those represents a potential issue that BPD may have to deal with.
Bartonville is a unique place with very unique and wonderfully supportive citizens. I take seriously the idea that the police cannot do their work alone, nor would I want to. Each of you in the Bartonville community are partners in the daily work necessary to make and keep our community safe. We depend on it and I, as your Chief, appreciate all of it.
As time moves on, BPD will continue to look for ways to improve what we do and how we do it and diligently work to be a dependable partner with our community.