What comes to mind when you think about law enforcement? Do you envision speeding tickets, conflict, and high volumes of crime? With so many negative occurrences happening in the United States, it may be difficult for you to think about what the Police Department is doing in your city.
“Community oriented policing is our philosophy. When our citizens trust their law enforcement," Police Chief Jim Sevey said. "We can create strong partnerships and lower the crime rate in our city.”
The Nacogdoches Police Department works diligently to keep our community safe, but also strives to deliver courteous, respectful service to community members and visitors alike.
Sevey explained this in the latest Nac101 course. “Our Police Department should be a part of the community. Our employees shop at the same stores, eat at the same restaurants, and raise their families in the same city as you, and we aim to protect the community as our own family.” It is a top priority for our Police to defend our citizens and make them feel safe and comfortable within their city.
Our police are encouraged to interact with our citizens whenever possible in order to create relationships with the community. This is facilitated through ride-alongs with officers, visits to schools, and by stopping and talking to citizens when they see them!
“Many times, the community only sees the negative side of the Police Department.” Stated officer Harris during my ride-along. “Our job is more than giving out tickets. Sometimes I am a counselor, a mediator, or a tour guide. I am not just an officer; I am a member of the community.”
Officer Harris keeps a cooler of Gatorade and Kool-Aid to give to citizens that she sees during the day in our parks and walking on our sidewalks. “We strive to connect policing with tourism.” Sevey explained. “If our officers meet visitors downtown, we like to show them around and tell them about the best places to see while they are in Nacogdoches!”
Retaining quality employees has lowered the amount of complaints substantially over the last year. In December, the Nacogdoches Police Department was awarded the Certificate of Recognition from the Texas Law Enforcement Best Practices Recognition Program.
Our police had zero demerits this past year, meaning that no corrections were suggested for our city department.
“Our employee handbook follows the guidelines of the Recognition Program, so our officers are trained to follow the best practices without realizing that it is voluntary to follow these guidelines,” stated Sevey.
In 2017, 98.74% of all calls made to our Police Department were answered in less than 10 seconds. This is one of the many standards that have been put in place to ensure that our community is receiving the best possible service from our officers.
As the United States see the rate of crimes increasing, the opposite can be found in Nacogdoches. Robbery and general burglary, including burglary of a habitation and burglary of buildings, have decreased over the last year.
Many certificates have been awarded to our officers, including the Master Peace Officers Certificate, the Advanced Police Officer Certificate, the TCOLE Academic Recognition Award, and the Advanced Tele-communicator Award.
In 2017, our police chief attended over 55 community focused meetings to become more informed on what is important to our citizens and how our law enforcement can better assist our community.
Our Police Department conducts surveys to see what is important to the community, and they align their goals with these values. Our law enforcement supervises multiple community services, including the Citizens Police Academy, Nacogdoches Crime Stoppers, Neighborhood Watch, and Volunteer Services (CERT) who have all assisted in making Nacogdoches a safe community to live in.
The City of Nacogdoches is filled with firefighters, paramedics, and police officers who protect our community because they care about the citizens that reside here.
“Our officers see Nacogdoches as their backyard, and we work hard to keep it safe and protected as well as make it an enjoyable place to be!” Sevey said.
As our community grows, the Nacogdoches Police Department plans to continue to implement a holistic approach to law enforcement. This means our police will use every resource possible to understand how they can contribute safety and a higher quality of life for our citizens.
If you have questions or concerns about the Nacogdoches police, call Jim Sevey.
“I have an open-door policy and love visiting with our citizens. If they are uncomfortable coming to the police department, I am more than happy to drink a glass of iced tea with them at Dolli’s Diner or Butcher Boys!”
For more information about the Nacogdoches Police Department, visit www.ci.nacogdoches.tx.us/760/Police.
Jessi Pinkert and is a recent graduate from the Hospitality Administration program at Stephen F. Austin State University, and is currently working towards her Master's degree in Mass Communications. Jessi works for the City of Nacogdoches as the Main Street/ Communications Department Content Coordinator, where she helps plan events, record and edit the NacChat Podcast and department videos, and maintains local Channel 21. Jessi also works for the Fredonia Hotel and Convention Center as a Public Relations Specialist.