Newspaper Archive of
Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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May 23, 2013     Hays Free Press
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May 23, 2013
 

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Page 6A HEWS Hays Free Press May 22, 2013 BY ANDY SEVILLA andy@haysfreepress.com As the Kyle Police Department celebrated the grand opening of its new 8,000 square-foot head- quarters on Front Street, the re- ality remains that the city's law enforcement personnel is sized for a town half the population of Kyle. A 2011 FBI Uniform Crime Report found that the average number of frill-time law en- forcement officers was 2.3 per 1,000 residents in 2010. In Kyle, the present figure is about 1.2 police officers per 1,000 resi- dents, according to Kyle Police Chief Jeff Barnett. KPD has 37 sworn officers serving a city with a population estimated at about 30,000. The U.S. Census Bureau's latest data estimated Kyle's population at 29,293 residents in 2011 - a 4.6 percent population jump from the city's 2010 population of 28,016 residents, according to the government agency's re- port. In an effort to close that per- sonnel gap, Barnett is asking the city for 82 new police de- partment positions in the next five years, according to Kyle's five-year Capital Improvements Plan (CIP). The 82 new positions - sworn police officers, support staff and animal control - if ap- proved by council, would be staffed within fiscal years 2014 through 2018, at a total cost of $5.5 million. Understanding budget con- straints, Barnett said that if money were no object, the 82 new department positions would be the best-case scenar- io based on population growth, calls for service and support staffneeds. "We understand that there are a lot of services that the city needs to fund, and they're do- ing the best job possible given their resources." And part of that "best job possible" Barnett mentioned, includes the police depart- ment's new home - an 8,000 square-foot building retooled specifically to accommodate a growing police force. "The first responsibility of municipal government is to provide for the safety of its resi- dents," said Kyle Mayor Lucy lohnson. "This facility pro- vides our police department with many more resources to not only investigate and solve crimes, but also to strategize on howto further prevent crime in our community." The department's former home - a 2,400 square-foot building that officials s aid was al- ready too small for the 19 sworn officers in place seven years ago - had served as the city's police station since 2006, and will re- main housing for police com- munications and dispatch. Building Kyle for Today & Tomorrow COURTESY PHOTO Kyle Police Chief Jeff Barnett (right) at the ribbon cutting ceremony of the town's newly renovated police headquarters. The 37 sworn officers and 22 civilian employees now have an 8,000-square foot building to call home. But Barnett said a city the size of Kyle should have double the number of officers. He is asking city council for 82 new employees over five years. As our population continues to grow, Austin & San Antonio grow nearer, and the demand for roads, water & public safety increases, we need seasoned leaders to make informed choices for our town. The building where the de- parmaent's new headquarters is located, in its past life served as Kyle State Bank and then Wells Fargo Bank. The city bought the building in 2007 with initial plans to one day house the Mu- nicipal Court and finance de- partment there. However, Hays County leased the space for its Pct. 2 offices. Last year, the city decided that the building was needed for the police depart- ment, and Pct. 2 county officials moved out and into their new facility on FM 2770 near Barton Middle School. Kyle spent about $200,000 retooling the space specific to a police department's needs. "This was truly a team effort to get this building ready for the police departInent and to be able to accomplish that task in a timely manner and with lim- ited funds," said Assistant City Manager James Earp, who led the project for the building's conversion. "Everyone from the city's finance, public works and police departments worked closely with our contractor to be sure that we met as many of the police department's needs as possible." Approximately 100 com- munity members attended the Mayl6 ribbon cutting cer- emony, where theywere treated to tours of the department and refreshments. Kyle has 37 sworn police offi- cers and 22 non-sworn support staff that serve the city's resi- dents and businesses within its 20-square-mile boundaries. "Most of the work of the Kyle Police Department takes place out in the Kyle commu- nity where we interact with the citizens and maintain an active and visible presence in the plac- es where people live and work," Barnett said. "However, we can't understate the importance of a functional facility where we can take care of the work that needs to happen off the streets to se- cure records and information, conduct briefings and train- ings, and to be able to host citi- zens when they feel the need to come to us." HOME APPLIANCE ADDRESS: 9900 S. IH 35- SOUTHPARK MEADOWS -k PHONE" 512.282.4445 Gt;T THi~ ~ tO :lltl~tl AT T~ LOWEST I~elCES (~i, tARANTf/~t~ ylc Cil)-Council Joe Bacon's experience In business, traffic management and public service make him the right leader for right now. wwwJoeBaconForKyle.com Paid for by the Joe Bacon CarnpaiI Michele G. Waldman, Treasurer 231 Bluestem St. Kyle, Texas 78640 SHOWROOM I lome APl~iance sale 0noes good thru 8~/13 unless 0thenMse noted. NO milk ~ oN E~I~Y ~tJur ~1~ ~ + in cal con wl STAFF REPORT on FM 1626 at the time. Bloys remains in critical A Sunday morning wreck on condition at Brackenridge FM1626 near FM 2770 (Jack C. Hospital in Austin. Critical Hays Trail) has left one person condition means that vital in thehospital, signs are unstable altd not The head-on collision oc- within normal limits. curred Sunday morning. Buda Botello was treated and re- Fire Department was called to leased. the scene at 6:48 a.m. and re- Brackenridge Hospital is sponded by 6:51 a.m. the only Level 1 Trauma Cen- A car, driven by 19-year-old ter in the Austin metropolitan Nathan Bloys, collided with a region. truck, driven by 39-year-old Department of Public Safety John Botello. Both drivers are officer Wade Schooley con- from Buda. tinues his investigation into The collision occurred near the accident. No further de- the Painted Horse Pavilion. tails were reported as of press Bloys was driving northbound time. VISIT US ONUNE AT: SearsHomeAp~lt~mco~oom.com +