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PALESTINE, June 24, 2014— Palestine City Council has made the decision to terminate Palestine Police Chief Robert Herbert. The issue was decided during Monday night’s City Council meeting by a vote of 5-2. The decision was reached after a lengthy debate and 2 hours in closed session.
The issue has been a controversial one which began when Chief Herbert scored remarkably low in a Management Survey conducted by the Texas Municipal Police Association. Survey results showed 0 percent of department employees having high morale, 0 percent agreeing they would finish their career at Palestine PD, and 0 percent having confidence that Chief Herbert could lead the department into the future. TMPA conducted the survey following numerous complaints which were received by the organization and the Palestine Police Officers Association.
City Council met on June 8, to discuss the issue. Sixteen individuals spoke in opposition to a new contract for Chief Herbert, while four spoke in favor. City Council moved to a 3-hour closed session and no decision was reached.
On June 16, City Council voted 4-3 to give their recommendation to City Manager Wendy Ellis to terminate Chief Herbert after another 4-hour closed session. Council members Adam Harding of District 1, Joseph Thompson of District 4, Mark Price of District 5, and Mayor Therrell Thomas voted in favor of a motion to recommend termination. Council members Vernon Denman of District 2, Steve Presley of District 6, and Vickey Chivers of District 3 voted in opposition. Chief Herbert was placed on administrative leave and a statement was released which informed the public the City Manager would bring the item before Council again once the city manager’s process was complete.
At Monday night’s Council meeting, Council members Vickey Chivers of District 3 and Vernon Denman of District 2 voted against termination, while Council members Adam Harding of District 1, Joseph Thompson of District 4, Mark Price of District 5, Steve Presley of District 6, and Mayor Therrell Thomas voted in favor.
No interim Police Chief has been named at this time.
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