Brenham Police Department members were recognized by Brenham City Council after the department was re-recognized for best practices by the Texas Police Chiefs Association.

The Brenham Police Department has been recognized again for following best practices.

At today’s (Thursday) meeting of Brenham City Council, the department received a Certificate of Recognition from the Texas Police Chiefs Association (TPCA) for continuing to comply with Texas law enforcement best practices.

Max Westbrook, director of the Texas Recognition Program and retired member of the Austin Police Department, said 181 of over 2,700 law enforcement agencies in Texas are achieving recognized status and even fewer achieving recognition.

Sgt.Steven Eilert (left) receives the Chief of Police’s Commendation Award from Brenham Police Chief Ron Parker.

The TPCA’s Best Practices Program challenges authorities to meet or exceed 170 law enforcement service standards based on Texas law, Texas court decisions, and contemporary practices identified by the TPCA. According to Westbrook, the Brenham Police Department first achieved TPCA-recognized status about 12 years ago.

Westbrook said two trained appraisers spent two days in July assessing the law enforcement agency and ensuring compliance with all standards. Her report was sent to an appreciation committee made up of nine active Texas police chiefs who reviewed the report and unanimously granted recognition.

Brenham Police Chief Ron Parker said the reputation of the Brenham Police Department was one reason he decided to become their new boss last March.

City Manager James Fisher called the department “exceptional” and said it had the full community support.

During the recognition, Chief Parker presented Sergeant Steven Eilert with a Commendation Award from the Chief of Police for his work as a program manager who compiled evidence of standards to be presented to the TPCA.

Carrie Derkowski (right) is awarded for 10 years of service with the Brenham Fire Department.

Also at its meeting today, the Council decided to adopt the budget and raise the tax rate for the 2021-22 financial year. After public hearings with no comment, the council passed a budget of $ 74.9 million and a tax rate of $ 0.4940 per $ 100 valuation.

The new budget increases property tax income by $ 329,468, an increase of 4.37 percent. Property tax revenue to be added to the tax list this year from new homes is $ 969,947.

The proposed tax rate is one cent cheaper than the previous year’s rate and consists of $ 0.3500 for maintenance and operations (M&O) and $ 0.1440 for debt servicing (I&S). CFO Carolyn Miller said the average home will pay $ 53.83 more in taxes due to the increase in property value, an increase of 6 percent.

The council also heard a brief update from Fisher on the city’s COVID-19 response and recovery efforts. Fisher said the city continues to monitor the rising number of COVID-19 cases. He also mentioned that the city was built by the 87.

The Council also meets today:

  • Accepted an offer for the Atlow Elevated Storage Tanks Refurbishment Project from Maguire Iron, Inc. of Sioux Falls, South Dakota for $ 229,750.
  • Approved renewal of the Routine Airport Maintenance Program (RAMP) grant agreement with TxDOT for fiscal year 2022. The agreement allows the city to reimburse up to $ 50,000 annually in general maintenance expenses.
  • Renewed insurance coverage from the Texas Municipal League Interstate Risk Pool for the city for FY 2021-22. The insurance covers general liability, law enforcement liability, civil servant liability, mobile equipment, airport liability, property, motor vehicle liability, property damage, crime and workers’ compensation insurance. Human Resources Director Susan Nienstedt said the city’s liability insurance increased $ 18,100, or 11 percent, due to more claims and higher claims values. She said the city’s property coverage is increasing $ 8,467, or 7 percent, due to a building materials inflation factor and several historical weather events. Worker Compensation coverage declines $ 9,031, or 8 percent, due to a decrease in the city’s experience modifier.
  • Approved changes to the 2020-21 budget to reflect contingencies, reclassified expenses and delays in investment projects.
  • Received a presentation in the working session on the financial report for the third quarter of 2020-21.
  • Special Use Permit has been issued to allow an additional unit of residence on the property at 503 West Alamo Street.
  • Meet at board meeting to deliberate with district attorney on City of Brenham v. WTG Gas Marketing, Inc.; Cause number 37573; 335th District Court.

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