The Waxahachie Police Department was recognized by the Texas Police Chiefs Association during the Monday, Oct. 4, city council meeting. The department is part of the association’s voluntary law enforcement recognition program in which agencies must prove their compliance with 166 best practices – and WPD's recognition was for maintaining a high level of standards.
Rob Severance, Cleburne chief of police, addressed the council on behalf of the TPCA.
“This new program has become the gold standard for professional law enforcement in Texas,” Severance said. “Agencies across the state are working diligently to meeting these requirements. “Approximately 12 years ago the Waxahachie Police Department first obtained recognized status with the TPCA, and it was not easy to do.”
Severance said a participating department undergoes a complete audit of all its policies, procedures, and operations. A department also must submit annual reports to ensure TPCA standards are met, and residents provided with effective police services. The standards address the full range of law enforcement operations including use of force, protection of citizens’ rights, vehicle pursuits, property and evidence management, and patrol and investigative operations.
“In July of this year, two trained assessors, police chiefs, and command officers from other parts of our state spent two days conducting another assessment of the Waxahachie Police Department,” Severance said. “These assessors interviewed staff, inspected facilities, and (looked at) operations. They met with field officers to ensure compliance with all standards.
“Their report was then sent to the recognition committee, which is comprised of nine active police chiefs from around the state who reviewed the report and voted to award recognized status,” he said. “The vote was unanimous.”
Of the more than 2,700 law enforcement agencies in Texas, only 181 agencies have achieved recognized status, Severance said, noting fewer than that have been re-recognized.
The best practice standards were developed to assist agencies in the efficient and effective delivery of service, the reduction of risk, and the protection of an individual’s rights, he said.
The Waxahachie Police Department will continue to submit annual reports and, in four years, TPCA assessors will conduct another on-site assessment.
“The recognition program assures both city management and the citizens of Waxahachie that their police department is operating in a manner that reflects the current best practices of Texas law enforcement,” Severance said. “It means your police department is continually striving for professional excellence. It means that your police department is one of the very best in the state.”
Waxahachie Police Chief Wade Goolsby gave all credit to his department.
“I am proud to be chief of such a great department, but this is not my accomplishment,” he said. “This is an accomplishment of the entire department. It is an effort by every single employee of the department.
“I have to give kudos to Lt. Marcus Brown,” he said. “He was primarily in charge of this effort this time and he did an outstanding job. I’m very proud of him and very proud of the entire department. I am just glad that we can be the very best department we can for the citizens of Waxahachie.”