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Georgetown Police Launches CommUNITY Advisory Task Force
By Charlotte Kovalchuk, Hello Georgetown Contributor
Georgetown Police Chief Wayne Nero said in the last few weeks, he’s been asked many times about what the police department plans to do differently in light of recent national events.
Organizing an Advisory Task Force as part of a CommUNITY initiative is one of his goals, as well as making sure the community knows more about the police department’s story. A snapshot of the Georgetown PD would show an agency where officers continually engage the community through events like Chase the Chief and National Night Out, an agency that requires its officers to receive 191 hours of training every year, even though the state requires only 40 every two years. It’s also a department that has received Best Practices Accreditation from the Texas Police Chiefs Association.
“Most people don’t know our story,” Chief Nero said during a Georgetown Chamber of Commerce meeting July 21. The police department, he said, focuses on creating a strong culture and up-to-date policies, conducting annual training, hiring the right people and fostering communication, de-escalation and community engagement as well as developing self-aware, emotionally intelligent leaders.
Community engagement is especially important in light of recent events, he said, which is why he launched a 25-member Advisory Task Force that features leaders from seven stakeholder groups, including the business community, neighborhoods, seniors, the media, youth and faith-based and social service organizations. The police department will host stakeholder “listen and learn” summits to explore next steps.
“Just by the power of networking in these relationships, now the police department becomes the conduit for bringing the community together,” Chief Nero said. He also encouraged residents to talk to the police department about what they need, as well as to keep in mind the daily hardships officers face.
“When we send officers into the field, they get to see all your heartaches, all your dirty laundry, all the bad decisions,” he said. “It’s a rough profession. It doesn’t excuse what [some] officers do, but I don’t think we give consideration to what officers go through every day.”
For more information on the initiative, email Chief Nero at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://georgetown.org/2019/05/08/one-extraordinary-community/.