Both people and businesses want and deserve a safe community.  We must ensure that our police, fire and other first responders have what they need in order to provide for the well-being of our community. We must provide the resources that will not only attract but retain the very best uniformed men and women who are always willing to rush into harm’s way to keep us safe.

Many components make up what we call the Essential Services for our city.  At the top of my list of priorities are law enforcement, public safety and first responders including fire, ambulance services, emergency medical and emergency management personnel.  No less important are our health care operations, hospital staff and other healthcare providers.

All of the above must be viewed by our city government as critical in maintaining the well-being and safety of our community.  Anything less than focusing our full attention on these critical essential services is unsatisfactory.

If you were to ask any of our current city leaders, you would get acknowledgement that these services are important.  However, there is a distinct difference between “acknowledgement and agreement”

Acknowledging simply means you recognize the need for the best essential services possible, but acknowledgement doesn’t produce action. Agreement means you have bought into the idea that these services are critical, and agreement is the first action step toward making it a reality.

I won’t get into specific details, as it wouldn’t be appropriate for this venue, however there are some fundamental issues relating to the morale of our city’s Police Department.

A recent survey conducted by the Rowlett Police Officer’s Association (RPOA) produced some extremely disturbing results.  Keep in mind that membership within the RPOA represents 70% of the total force.

The survey included questions which asked the members to rate their perception of the department’s overall morale on a 1 to 10 scale (rating valued from low to high), and what (if any) factors contributed to and/or impacted their view.  Additionally, a question specifically addressed whether or not the member was currently considering or plans to leave the department within the next 5 years, and if so, to explain why.

Three major themes arose from this survey

  1. The average rating for perceived morale was a 4. (Remember, 1 would have been the lease favorable, 10 would have indicated the highest of morale!)
  2. 74% of respondents cited the leading cause of low morale was due to strained relationships with the municipal court.
  3. 67% stated that they have considered or planned to leave the department within a 5-year period.

We simply cannot maintain the safety and well-being of our citizens if 67% of our brave men and women in blue are considering leaving the department.

This is why I am running for City Council, Place 4.  I am a strong proponent of our Police Department.

Mike4Rowlett