The proposition to make the police department a civil service failed with 724 votes against it and 380 votes for, so the Burkburnett police department will continue to operate as is.
The Texas Municipal Police Association introduced the idea of the police department establishing a civil service system to the Burk City Commission back in March. However, some city leaders weren’t on board.
“I get that there is a value to civil service,” City Commissioner Josh Andrajack said. “But in Burkburnett, what we have to consider is our citizens, their tax burden, all of the other services that we implement as a city have to provide for our city’s residents. It can’t just be about better benefits, job security, I’ll quote you ‘civil service protection of rights and guarantees’ for 21 of 90 some odd employees. There is merit to civil service but simply stated sir, Burkburnett cannot afford it.”
Even though officials with the TMPA said passing the measure wouldn’t cost taxpayers a dime,
some residents were still concerned about taxes going up and are glad to see the police department continue to operate the way it has.
“My taxes have been going up here a lot lately and I don’t want to see that happen,” Jack Emro said.
“So far it’s worked from what I’ve seen around here. Everything seems to be alright. The cars, vehicles and everything seems to be all right. I’ve never heard anything bad from them.”
If the ballot measure had passed, policies and wages would have been determined by the state civil service system. Something one resident says is needed in Burkburnett.
“What I consider the good ol’ boy system would no longer be in effect,” said Brandi Day. “They would have to go by state regulations that are set by the state and not the city. It puts a check that isn’t solely on the city, so the city doesn’t get to have all the say.”
With this proposition failing the city of Burkburnett will continue to operate the police department as it has been.
Several police departments in Texoma have a civil service system in place, including the Wichita Falls Police Department. That was established in April 2005.