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Palestine Police Chief to Resign in October

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By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

PALESTINE – According to a statement from Palestine Police Department Community Liaison Michele Herbert, “Palestine Chief of Police Andy Harvey will be resigning effective October 18, 2019.”

As to his resignation, Harvey stated, “It has been my pleasure to lead the members of the police department and serve this city for the last two years. This is a great community and I will miss the good people here. I am ready for my next season.”

Herbert reported under Harvey’s leadership, the agency was transformed into a 21st Century, community engaged police department with several accomplishments.

Among these were:

  • The implementation of new crime fighting strategies to target drugs and property crimes using covert and other technology.
  • The addition of a motorcycle unit to the fleet, as well as a Matrice 210 Drone with thermal imaging capabilities as well as the training of two certified FAA drone pilots.
  • The implementation of the UNIDOS Hispanic outreach program
  • The creation of relationships with influencers such as the Chief’s Clergy Coalition to better understand community needs and concerns.
  • The creation of a Quality of Life Officer position working with Social Service agencies: Access, Child Protective Services and mental health agencies to provide better quality care to citizens challenged with mental health and drug addiction.
  • The Quality of Life Officer also focuses on the mental wellness of our officers, ensuring they have the help to properly deal with PTSD and other job-related effects for a healthier department.
  • An increase in the department’s Social Media presence, allowing greatly increased community interaction through platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
  • The creation of a successful Spanish Facebook Page, attracting 1,000 plus followers in less than three days where relevant information is now disseminated about community events and critical situations.
  • The creation of the P.L.A.C.E Team consisting of Police, Code Enforcement, Animal Control, and Litter Abatement that address quality of life concerns collectively, greatly increasing effectiveness.

“During Police Chief Harvey’s service to City of Palestine, he worked to reach out to involve various segments of our community. Community partnerships are necessary if a city wishes to grow. I thank Chief Harvey, not only for his service to various branches of the military, but also for what he has done for the city of Palestine and his prior agencies. The two of us will work together to plan for the smoothest transition prior to his departure on October 18th,” City Manager Leslie Cloer said.

She added, “I will be seeking input from our elected officials, business owners, citizens of Palestine, and our employees to set a list of priorities as we plan for how the City moves forward to select a new Police Chief. As I just received this notice of Chief Harvey’s departure today, I will have to follow up with City Council to create our timeline for how Palestine plans to address this transition in leadership.”

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.