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Central Texas police departments up vetting process for potential hires

Police
Posted at 10:51 PM, Sep 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-29 23:51:45-04

Central Texas police departments are vetting their potential hires more as national scrutiny of police increases.

"I support the police. Why? Because I think we need them," said a woman walking down a Crawford street.

When the Texas Rangers arrested the Crawford police chief for felony tampering with physical evidence, it got a lot of people's attention. However, it didn't change this woman's view of the police one bit.

"I still think the policemen are fine," said the resident, who wished to remain anonymous.

True, but sometimes some officers have a tough time getting on the same page with their departments.

"It just may be that their idea of law enforcement isn't conducive to what the agency or community's expectation is," said Hewitt Police Chief Jim Devlin. It's why lots of police departments have tightened their hiring process and have begun more heavily screening applicants.

It's something taxpayers don't see and assume gets done anyway.

"That's not my job, and I trust the people that are in charge of that to do a good job," said the Crawford woman.

Not only have departments begun tightening hiring standards, professional organizations too have joined in, pushing the bar ever-higher.

"As a recognized agency with the Texas Police Chief's Association, we'd already met that criteria. In fact, not only did me meet it, we exceeded it and we've been doing that over a year now," said Chief Devlin.

He says most Central Texas police departments have the same goal, to hire the best, expect their best and evolve into the kind of organization people want and need.

"We're all on the same page. We're looking at things differently to try to figure out what's going to be a better response than the traditional way of just throwing people in jail," Chief Devlin said.

As for being held to a higher standard, our Crawford citizen had this to say.

"We should all be held to a higher standard, me and you both," she said.