National Night Out: Register by Sept. 26

National Night Out is an annual event to support public safety and neighborhood crime prevention that will be held in Georgetown on Tuesday, October 6. Block parties are being organized for 6 to 9 p.m. that evening.

Register your block party by Saturday, September 26 so that a member of the Georgetown Police Department can visit your party.

To register your National Night Out block party in Georgetown, go to pd.georgetown.org/programs-services on the City website. There is a link to an online form to register your block party.

National Night Out is sponsored each year by the Georgetown Police Department. The goal is to help create neighborhoods where people know each other and look out for each other since they tend to be safer and healthier places to live. Members of the Georgetown Police Department, Georgetown Fire Department, Animal Services, Code Enforcement, and Georgetown Utility Systems will be visiting National Night Out block parties in Georgetown.

For details, contact Karen Gilbert with the Georgetown Police Department at karen.gilbert@georgetown.org.

Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on September 26

To help protect the water supply and reduce household risks, bring unwanted medications to Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, September 26 in Georgetown. Drugs that are expired or no longer needed will be collected—no questions asked—from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Sun City Legacy Hills Park Pavilion, 200 Del Webb Boulevard and the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office, 508 S. Rock Street.

One goal of the free collection of unwanted medications is to keep them from being poured down the drain or flushed down a toilet. Pharmaceuticals that are put in our wastewater system can affect water quality in our creeks, rivers, and lakes.

Removing unwanted medications from your home also reduces risks of accidental overdose by children or visitors in your home.

The Take-Back Day is part of a nation-wide effort of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to reduce the risk of unwanted medications in our homes. Local partners in the Drug Take-Back Day include the Georgetown Police Department, LifeSteps Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, Williamson County EMS, and the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office.

Medications that are dropped off should be in their original containers, if possible. Drugs brought to the drop-off may include expired or unwanted prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines, drugs prescribed for pets, medicines from deceased family members, or unknown tablets and capsules. Items not accepted include sharps (needles and syringes), mercury thermometers, IV bags, personal care products, and medical equipment.

The collection is for individual households. Medications cannot be accepted from businesses such as nursing homes, doctor’s offices, or other institutions or businesses.

For more information, call LifeSteps at (512) 246-9880 or visit the DEA website at www.dea.gov.

Watch School Zones as Classes Start on Aug. 24

The first day of classes for schools in the Georgetown school district is Monday, August 24. The Georgetown Police Department reminds drivers to slow down in school zones. As students go back to school, police will be monitoring school zones throughout the city.

Look for the school zones at most of these Georgetown ISD schools:

  • Carver Elementary, 4901 Scenic Lake Drive
  • Cooper Elementary, 1921 NE Inner Loop
  • Ford Elementary, 210 Woodlake Drive
  • Frost Elementary, 711 Lakeway Drive
  • McCoy Elementary, 401 Bellaire Drive
  • Mitchell Elementary, 1601 Rockride Lane
  • Pickett Elementary, 1100 Thousand Oaks Boulevard
  • Purl Elementary, 1700 Laurel Street
  • Village Elementary, 400 Village Commons
  • Williams Elementary, 507 E. University Avenue
  • Benold Middle School, 3407 Northwest Boulevard
  • Forbes Middle School, 1911 NE Inner Loop
  • Tippit Middle School, 1601 Leander Road
  • East View High School, 4490 E. University Avenue
  • Georgetown High School, 2211 N. Austin Avenue
  • Georgetown Alternative Program, 502 Patriot Way
  • Richarte High School, 2295 N. Austin Avenue
  • Williamson County Academy/Lott Juvenile Detention Center, 200 Wilco Way

School zone speed limits are in effect during the posted hours or when yellow lights are flashing. The fine for speeding in a school zone is $10 per mile over the limit, plus state court costs. This would mean a $229 fine for driving 30 mph in a 20 mph zone, for example.

State law prohibits the use of a wireless communication device in a school zone during the posted hours or when yellow lights are flashing.

Public Safety Operations and Training Center Grand Opening

The City of Georgetown will hold a grand opening for the new Public Safety Operations and Training Center on Friday, July 10. A ceremony and ribbon cutting event with Mayor Dale Ross starts at 2:30 p.m. A come-and-go open house will be held the next day on Saturday, July 11 from 9 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Both events are open to the public.

PSOTC entry1b-1000The Georgetown Police Department and Georgetown Fire Department Administration moved into the new center on February 2. The facility is located at 3500 DB Wood Road next to Fire Station 5.

The 76,000 square-foot main building of the new center houses all Police Department employees as well as Fire Department administration, fire and life safety, plans review, and Code Enforcement employees. The center also houses the City’s emergency operations center, 911 emergency communications center, CSI lab, secure interview suite, volunteer area, victim services area, fitness area, locker rooms, defensive tactics training room, and large training room.

Training elements of the facility include a 17,000 square-foot tactical building with classrooms and reality-based training bay, as well as a slow-speed driving track.

Energy-efficiency features of the center include outdoor LED lights, energy-efficient indoor lights fixtures, and room occupancy sensors, as well as windows, skylights, and light wells that allow natural lighting to reach both floors.

Landscaping includes native and drought tolerant plants to reduce water use. Vegetated drainage areas allow storm water to be absorbed rather than running off the site.

The architectural design team for the center included Architects Design Group and KAH Architecture. Bartlett Cocke General Contractors was the construction contractor for the $29.3 million facility.

Georgetown voters approved funding for the facility in a bond election in 2011.

The new center replaces the former main police department building at 809 Martin Luther King, Jr. Street. That 1910 historic Light and Waterworks building will be repurposed as one component of the Downtown West campus, currently under development.

Map to the Public Safety Operations and Training Center:

Public Safety Center is SafeTrade Site

The Georgetown Police Department announces it has joined SafeTrade, a national initiative for safely completing online transactions when meeting in person.

SafeTrade is a simple program for police departments to encourage transactions at their facilities and for users to insist on “SafeTrade” by conducting their transactions only at a local police or sheriff’s office.

“The decision to offer our facility as a SafeTrade location was a no-brainer,” says Capt. Evelyn McLean of the Georgetown Police Department. “We are in the business of protecting and this was an easy way for us to promote a safer transaction between buyers and sellers of merchandise.”

The SafeTrade logo can be used by sellers (without charge) on any ads posted to promote safety and security, and by police departments to indicate they are hosting their location for SafeTrade transactions.

In the past few months, a growing number of police departments in the U.S. have offered to host online transactions, most of them referring to sites such as Craigslist as the reason. Participating police departments can now post banners or use logos referring to their facilities as SafeTrade Stations. Additional information is available at www.safetradestations.com.

The lobby of the Public Safety Operations and Training Center is available during business hours as a SafeTrade location. The parking lot is available 24-hours.  Capt. McLean adds, “Georgetown Police Department encourages traders to conduct business during daylight hours. All sales are civil matters and officers should not be called on to intervene.”

SafeTrade banner 1000

 

Pictured in the photo are (left to right) Officer Fred Pitcher, Sgt. Jamieson Allen, Lt. Jim Seals, Capt. Evelyn McLean, Asst. Chief Cory Tchida, and Chief Wayne Nero. (Click on photo for larger version.)

The Georgetown Police Department is located at the Public Safety Operations and Training Center, 3500 D.B. Wood Road, Georgetown, TX, 78628.

Georgetown Among Safest Cities in Texas

50 Safest Cities in TexasGeorgetown is on the 2015 safest cities in Texas list, released last week by SafeWise, a home security company. Georgetown is ranked 27 among the 50 Safest Cities in Texas. The annual ranking is based on FBI Crime Report statistics.

According to the announcement, “Historic buildings, rows of blooming flowers, and an excellent safety record are just some of the reasons to pay attention to the city of Georgetown. For the second year in a row, Georgetown proved itself as one of the safest cities in Texas, thanks to factors like low reports of violent crime – just 71 in 2013.”

The description of Georgetown also points out the ways that the City takes care of our animals. “This city looks after all of its citizens, including those on four legs. Residents turn out in droves to support the Friends of the Georgetown Animal Shelter in their annual Art for Animals fundraiser. There’s no denying Georgetown is a great place to call home for everyone, even your furry friends.”

See the full list at www.safewise.com/blog/safest-cities-texas-2015.

Chase the Chief 5K on April 12: Update

Nero at start 2014-b350Update: April 10: The event organizers are monitoring the weather for Chase the Chief on Sunday. The event is still on. In the event of cancellation or postponement, participants will be notified via the email they used to register for the event. Check the City Facebook page, and Police Department Facebook page for updates. Also look for information on the GISD Council PTA website as well as their Facebook page.

The third annual Chase the Chief 5K and Fun Run is Sunday, April 12 in San Gabriel Park. A fitness fair and obstacle course starts at 12 p.m. (noon) and the opening ceremony is at 2 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Georgetown ISD Council of PTAs and the Georgetown Police Department and presented by the Georgetown Health Foundation.

Chase the Chief features a 5K, a 3/4-mile Fun Run, and Tot Trot. Other activities include music, police department obstacle courses, a fitness fair, a GISD School Nurses’ Fair, and healthy foods and snacks.  Look for race day registration and other event activities near the gazebo in San Gabriel Park in Georgetown.

Due to the generosity of sponsors, registration for the event is priced at only $5 for students and $10 for adults. For details or to register, go to GeorgetownCouncilPTA.org. Scholarships are available to all Georgetown ISD students and their families.

The Chase the Chief 5K and Fun Run will each be led by Georgetown Police Chief Wayne Nero. The goal of Chase the Chief is to encourage students and their families to improve their nutrition and lead active, healthy lives.

Proceeds from this event will sponsor the Chase the Chief nutrition and fitness program and help to purchase equipment for the GISD physical education program.

Packet pickup on Friday, April 10 is from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Public Safety Operations and Training Center at 3500 DB Wood Road.

Following the race, there will be an award ceremony and a raffle for prizes.

To register for the Chase the Chief 5K run, Fun Run, or Tot Trot, go to GeorgetownCouncilPTA.org.

Citizens on Patrol Assist Police Officers

A new group of volunteers is helping to increase the outreach and capacity of the Georgetown Police Department. Sixteen Citizens on Patrol volunteers are driving the streets of Georgetown to “observe and report” and assist in other duties of the department.

Volunteers have completed four weeks of training, which includes learning from officers in each area of the police department such as patrol, criminal investigations, and community resources. Most of the volunteers also are graduates of the 10-week Citizens Police Academy in which they get an education in all aspects of the department.

The COPs volunteers will use a vehicle to conduct close patrols in neighborhoods, observe areas in response to complaints, and work at community events. The volunteers also will serve as eyes and ears for code enforcement, which is part of the police department.

Another duty involves placing four radar boxes at various locations to track speeds on city streets. The radar boxes collect data that is used to adjust speed limits, but is not used to issue citations.

Lt. Jim Seals says that using trained volunteers to serve in some of these non-emergency roles allows sworn officers to devote more time to respond to emergencies, solve crimes, participate in training, and interact with the community.

COPs with car-b1000The Citizens on Patrol vehicle has a radio that allows volunteers to communicate with 911 emergency communications operators in order to request an officer or report information. The volunteers will not carry weapons. Dennis Barbeau, who is the volunteer director of the program, says they are trained to be non-confrontational and avoid situations that could put them in danger.

The Citizens on Patrol volunteers are among more than 160 total volunteers who assist the Police Department in many ways, including the Blue Santa program, Park Rangers program, at the Animal Shelter, and in other areas.

The sixteen volunteers have been logging 100 hours per week for the past several weeks. They provided security for the new Public Safety Operations and Training Center while contractors worked to finish the facility and while police employees moved in.

Lt. Jim Seals, who leads the community resources program for the department, says that they are not currently recruiting any additional volunteers for the Citizens on Patrol program. Lt. Seals does expect that the program will expand in the future as the demands of the department grow.

The Georgetown Citizens on Patrol program is modeled after similar programs in other communities says Police Chief Wayne Nero. The Georgetown Police Department Citizens on Patrol program is supportive of, but not affiliated with, a similarly-named citizen group in Sun City.

COPs group 1b-1000

Pictured in the photo (left to right) are Citizens on Patrol volunteers Dennis Barbeau, Myra Chevalier, Paul Chevalier, Randy McDonald, and Jeff Justice, Lt. Jim Seals, Police Chief Wayne Nero, Assistant Police Chief Cory Tchida, and volunteer Michael Corse.

Women in Law Enforcement Career Night March 12

The Georgetown Police Department is hosting a Women in Law Enforcement Career Night on March 12. The event will provide an opportunity for attendees to hear from women in the department and learn about career options. The event is from 6 to 8 p.m. in the training center at the new Public Safety Operations and Training Center, 3500 DB Wood Road in Georgetown.

The department seeks to hire qualified women to serve in a growing department. Women currently serve as leaders throughout the department in a variety of areas, including officers at the rank of captain, lieutenant, sergeant, and officer, as well as non-sworn supervisors in emergency communications, code enforcement, records, administration, and animal services.

The career night is open to all women who are interested, even those who do not have a law enforcement background. “Experience is not necessary,” says Capt. Evelyn McLean, who is coordinating the event. “We want women who may have never considered law enforcement previously.”

At the event from 6 to 7 p.m., four Georgetown Police Department officers—Capt. Evelyn McLean, Sgt. Renee Koog, Officer Shannon Hall, and Officer Delta Jolly—will each share their story. The officers will talk about how they got into law enforcement and the ways that they each enjoy their career. Afterwards there will be a chance for questions and answers. From 7 to 8 p.m. is a tour of the new Public Safety Operations and Training Center.

If you have questions about the event or would like more information, contact Capt. Evelyn McLean at (512) 930-8408 or evelyn.mclean@georgetown.org.

Citizen Police Academy Spring Session

This session of Citizen Police Academy is now full. Those who are interested should apply when the next session is offered.
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The Citizen Police Academy is a 10-week course to educate citizens about all aspects of the Georgetown Police Department.

Class sessions include topics such as use-of-force, calling 911, criminal investigations, traffic enforcement, hostage negotiations, Emergency Response Team and SWAT, victim’s assistance, interviewing and interrogation, shoot or don’t shoot, warrants, Municipal Court and Teen Court, Williamson County courts, and Volunteers in Police Service.

Police Chief Wayne Nero typically teaches the class in use-of-force covering the types of weapons, lethal and non-lethal, that are available to officers. The class also assesses scenarios when use of force is justified. The class is often an eye-opener for citizens regarding the use of force by police officers.

Another class with a big impact on past participants is called Shoot, Don’t Shoot. In the class, participants play the role of a police officer via an interactive life-sized video.  Armed with a laser weapon, participants must decide when or when not to shoot in different situations. The video also shows the end-point of each laser shot when participants fire a laser gun. The class provides an accurate depiction of situations that officers must be prepared to face on any given day.

Classes are Thursdays from March 26 through May 28. Sessions are 6 to 8 p.m. in the training room at the new Public Safety Operations and Training Center at 3500 DB Wood Road.

To apply, go to cpa.georgetown.org, or stop by the Police Department at the Public Safety Operations and Training Center. The application deadline is March 13. A background check will be conducted on all applicants, who must be 18 or older.