LPD to add officer, victim coordinator

By Kathi Bliss

Editor/POST-REGISTER

 

During their regular business meeting on Tuesday night, the Lockhart City Council began digging into talks regarding the 2017-18 Fiscal Year Budget.

High on the list of priorities, according to Lockhart Police Chief Ernesto Pedraza, is the addition of both a School Resource Officer (SRO) and a full-time victim coordinator.

“I have refocused and reassigned several positions in the department,” he told the Council. “We are able to better utilize our resources, and I currently have enough staff to operate a second SRO at the beginning of the school year.”

Although the position is one created within the City’s budget, an SRO will be funded in large part by the Lockhart Independent School District; the line item requested by Superintendent Susan Bohn was approved by the LISD Board of Trustees when they passed their budget last month.

The second position, that of a full-time victim coordinator, Pedraza said will allow officers and crime victims to more effectively utilize services available to victims.

Currently operated through exclusively volunteer activities, the Victim Assistance Team responds to calls when requested by officers on the scene, often at the scene of traffic accidents and attended or unattended deaths.

Other areas of the budget reviewed included the electric fund and the water and wastewater funds, as well as the solid waste collection fund.

City Manager Vance Rodgers noted that in October, under the contract with Central Texas Refuse, trash collection customers will see a 3.5 percent rate increase, bringing the cost to $19.28 per month for an average residential customer, and $30.96 for commercial customers. Curbside recycling will also increase to $5.82 per month.

In other business, the Council approved two zoning changes, one for a residential property that had previously been zoned commercial, and the other in preparation for the construction of a multi-family apartment development near the intersection of Highway 142 and City Line Road.

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. However, during budget time, the council meets weekly, with their next budget workshop scheduled July 27 at 6:30 p.m. The meetings are open to the public, televised on Spectrum Digital Cable Channel 10, and are available for online viewing at www.lockhart-tx.org.

kathibliss@post-register.com

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