BURKBURNETT, TX (TNN) - Saturday’s special election decides if Burkburnett will adopt Chapter 143 of Texas Local Government Code, establishing a civil service system for the Burkburnett Police Department.
It would bring changes to the department, which some say will improve it.
“I think it’s important so we can support our local police officers because we need to give a more professional environment to those that go out every day and work to protect us and keep us safe every day,” Maddison Turner, sister of a BPD officer, said. “Allowing them to have the structural support they need would give them the support to do their jobs in a more proficient way.”
The Director of Field Services for the Texas Municipal Police Association John Sierega says this will help create standards for the police department.
It would require written tests for promotions and hiring processes, without taking power from the department. According to the city, it will establish a base salary for officers.
“I believe they deserve that. I thought they were already civil service but they weren’t so everyone should go out and vote for this,” Reyna Hernandez, a Burkburnett resident, said. “This will help the quality of our officers as well that we get to come into our area."
One opponent to the proposition is city commissioner and Mayor Pro-tem Bill Lindenborn. He told News Channel 6 the potential property tax increases are a cost that residents shouldn’t have to carry when this would only benefit the police department.
Supporters think the officers deserve it.
“I think it is a necessary evil, and I’m willing to do it for our police officers,” Hernandez said.
“I think a little bit of inflation in the property tax that’s part of being a citizen here and getting the privileges of them protecting us and looking out for us every single day,” Turner said.