Council confirms appointment of Interim Chief
By LPR Staff
During a brief business meeting on Tuesday evening, the Lockhart City Council chose to put a longtime member of the Lockhart Police Department in charge of department operations pending the hiring of a new chief.
According to City Manager Vance Rodgers, seated Chief Mike Lummus recently announced his retirement
, effective Oct. 31.
Under the Civil Service statutes entered by Lockhart’s voters several years ago, Roescher, as the ranking member of the department, is the appropriate appointment to the post. Roescher, a 30-year veteran of the Department, has served under no fewer than five chiefs, Rodgers said, and has worked his way up through the ranks of the Lockhart PD.
Rodgers noted that the position of Police Chief has been posted, and more than 38 applications have been received. However, of those applicants, several do not indicate prior experience under Civil Service, something which disqualifies their applications immediately.
Some members of the council expressed concern about that fact.
“I would hate to see a good candidate be turned away because of civil service,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Angie Gonzales Sanchez. “In reviewing the applications, I would hope that we would look at experience and other things, as well. I understand that civil service is important, but there are other important things, as well, for this community.”
Rodgers explained that civil service experience is not a matter of personal preference; rather, it is written into the civil service statutes that the chief of the department must have civil service experience, and cannot be considered otherwise.
He said he hopes to begin meeting with candidates in late-October.
In the meantime, Roescher will take the helm at the police department on Nov. 1. The interim position will come with an interim pay increase. If Roescher is not granted the chief’s position on a permanent basis, his current position as Captain will be protected, and he may return to that position after the interim appointment expires, with no impact on his pay rate.
The Lockhart City Council routinely meets on the first and third Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. in the Third Floor Council Chambers of the Dr. Eugene Clark Library Complex.