The City of Driscoll is one step closer to finding a new chief of police, as three officers have already applied for the position.
The three candidates will be interviewed during Novemberís scheduled city council meeting, Mayor John Aguilar said.
The city has been without a police chief since September. In August, former Driscoll Police Chief Joe L. Tamez III submitted his letter of resignation, which went into effect Sept. 1. Tamezís letter did not give a reason for his decision to resign. However, Tamez did include a three-page list of accomplishments he claimed to have made during his tenure as Driscollís police chief.
Since September, Driscoll Police Department Sgt. Aaron Putnam has served in a lead role within the department. On Thursday, the Driscoll City Council approved placing Putnam as the acting administrative head for the department.
The Nueces County Record Star filed a Texas Public Information Act Request with the city for copies of the candidates' applications.
One difficulty facing the department during the time of transition was the need to increase dispatching services as required under the Nueces County Metro Communication System, which is the hub for all county dispatching services. The City of Driscoll recently received word of non-compliance with the local organization following an audit conducted by the Corpus Christi Police Department. Members of the MetroCom system are required to pay fees in excess of $60,000 per year to be part of the system.
Aguilar said he found out that in 2007 the City of Driscoll would not receive the benefit of 24-hour service through MetroCom, because they had not paid into the organization since 2001. Aguilar said the department only uses the MetroCom system at night, when the police department is without a local dispatcher.
Aguilar said the hope was that the City of Driscoll would instead pay the City of Bishop half of MetroComís yearly fee, $30,000, or less to provide Driscoll with evening and weekend dispatch service. Putnam informed the council that Bishop decided against entering an interlocal agreement with Driscoll on those services.
The only other option, Aguilar said, would be to use the $60,000 the city would have to set aside in the budget for MetroCom service and pay three or four part-time dispatchers to cover evening and weekend service at a lower cost. If not, the city could lose its 24-hour police services, Aguilar said.
Putnam said the city could discuss the matter again with MetroCom officials to see if there were any other options available.