And the Sheriff Rides into Town
It’s hard to find humor in the fact that Lexington has no active Police Department to protect our citizens; thankfully, however, the Lee County Sheriff’s Department, along with the Texas Department of Public Safety, have both stepped up to help Lexington until a new police department has been established.
Mayor Robert Willrich, Sr. said this week, “I called both the Sheriff’s Department and DPS several weeks ago to ask them to help out while we have no Police Department to keep our citizens safe, and to patrol our streets and highway. They both have generously agreed to have extra patrols in the area for this temporary timeframe. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for doing exactly what they said they would do. In the Sheriff’s report this week alone, you will find 16 different calls that his deputies responded to in Lexington.”
Following the resignation of the Lexington Police Chief, effective March 31, a committee was organized to find a new Chief. That committee has 52 applications they are reviewing and will start the interview process next week. Serving on the committee are the Mayor, Council members Tony Tavary and William Langehennig, City Secretary Pam Cox and four retired or acting law enforcement officers from Williamson and Travis counties. In a recent City Council meeting, the council members voted to increase the Chief of Police’s salary from approximately $ 38,000 to $ 45,000 a year in hopes of attracting more qualified candidates.
After a handful of citizens and an Austin television station began a campaign against the Lexington Police Department four months ago and one citizen threatened to sue the city with a class action lawsuit supported by the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) a month ago, the city was forced to put the entire force on administrative leave with pay, leaving Lexington exposed.
Barring the legitimate complaints against the Police Department, you’ve got to wonder, with the city elections just two weeks away, how much of the problem with the police department was about the police, power or politics?