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Katy Police Department works to fill openings

October 1, 2018

The Katy Police Department has started a search to fill positions funded by the 2018-19 budget approved by Katy City Council on Sept. 24.

The police department will fill seven new positions as part of the balanced general fund budget of $28.475 million. The budget adds 12 other new positions including three firefighters and an investigator for the fire department as well as a 3 percent cost of living increase for employees.

Assistant Police Chief Tim Tyler said, “First off, I’m very appreciative that the City Council saw the necessity for our request.”

“We currently have the job posting open,” said Tyler on Sept. 25. “We have already started the backgrounds on some applicants on current open positions. We will hire two in November and than two every quarter after that with July of 19 hiring 1.”

The budget and supporting tax rate of 48.672 cents per $100 of property valuation the same as last year received unanimous support from Katy City Council.

Newly appointed Ward A Katy City Councilman Frank O. Carroll III highlighted the importance of the seven new positions for the police department.

The department received 34,420 calls for service last year, he said, compared to 9,650 in 2000. The department in 2000 had 33 police officers and five detectives, he continued, compared with 41 patrol officers and eight detectives in 2017. Carroll, who said he obtained his figures from the police department, commented on the growth in the Katy area. He talked of the new subdivisions adding thousands of homes and said population pegged at 11,841 in 2000 reached 20,549 in 2017.

“We’re at a point where if we don’t get additional resources to the police department, we won’t be able to enjoy the level of security and safety we’ve enjoyed for so many years,” said Carroll.

He shared a story about a member of his church who had her purse snatched at Walmart. Not having credit cards, pictures and identification is certainly a problem, he said, but what’s even of greater importance is the loss of a sense of security.

“The experience never leaves you,” he said. People don’t want to be in a community where everyone is constantly exercising vigilance, he said, adding that Police Chief Bill Hastings is headed in the right direction.

Ward A Councilwoman Janet Corte said her appreciation for the police department, its officers and what they do has grown since she started attending the 10-week Citizen’s Police Academy that started in August.

Carroll, who was welcomed by other council members to City Council, said city officials have been telling folks for a number of years to come to the city and invest in Katy. With approval of the budget, he said, “Katy is investing in Katy.”

Carroll was appointed to City Council in September to fill the unexpired term left by the resignation of J. Gary Jones.

karen.zurawski@chron.com

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