City of Roma Officers Air Grievances Against Administration

2 years 4 months 1 week ago Tuesday, July 30 2019 Jul 30, 2019 July 30, 2019 8:12 PM July 30, 2019 in News - Local

ROMA - Police officers in Roma shared a lengthy list of concerns with the city's leaders via a letter they signed and sent earlier this month.

It raises concerns against the administration.

The police chief says he believes it's politically motivated; even so, he discussed the concerns his officers shared. 

They expressed concerns over the maintenance of their vehicles.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS obtained pictures of tattered seats, mangled door handles secured with zip ties and tires that wore down their treading. 

Chief Jose Garcia looked at the pictures of the units his officer’s drive.

The officers are concerned; they stated in their letter, "This creates a burden on the officers knowing that the tires could be the cause of an accident if and when they engage in a pursuit."

Garcia agreed and explained officers are tasked with surveying their units before their shift starts.

Any abnormalities should be reported and addressed immediately.

"If it's something that places our officers in danger, we don't have a budget limit for that," Garcia clarified. "We're going to fix it."

Money in this case, he said, is not above safety.

Pay is a concern for officers requesting a pay scale that compensates them fairly.

The letter reads, "A pay scale will define an officer’s experience, and education, including shift-differential, certification level and other annual incentives to create compensation security for all officers."

The officers question whether the chief is fighting hard enough to get them a pay bump.

Garcia dug through a prepared filing folder on his desk.

He pulled out some copies of old requests for percentage increases or pay scale proposals from 2013, 2015 and this year.

He says he's been turned down, because the money just isn't there.

The city of Roma famously struggled with its budget in 2018 when it missed its approval deadline.

Right now, the department is helped by federal funding.

"We work operations assisting border patrol protecting the border. And, that helps a lot. What might happen if we lose that funding? Then we would have another problem," says Garcia.

Officers also request more firearms training.

Garcia says they're state compliant but will be looking at how they can increase their training.

The letter has not been discussed at city council, as of yet.

Garcia says he welcomes their questions and those from the public as well.

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