PALESTINE, Texas (KETK) – Palestine Police Chief Andy Harvey has announced his resignation, effective October 18.
“It has been my pleasure to lead the members of the police department and serve this city for the last two years,” Harvey said. “This is a great community and I will miss the good people here. I am ready for my next season.”
Harvey has served as Palestine police chief for two years. He spent 21 years on the Dallas police force, including two years as major.
He also served in the U.S. Air National Guard.
The press release announcing his retirement gave no reason, nor did it give any hint as to Harvey’s future plans.
The release touted Harvey’s accomplishments as police chief, saying he “has transformed the agency into a 21st-century, community engaged police department.”
Specifically, the release said Harvey:
- Implemented new crime fighting strategies to target drugs and property crimes using covert and other technology.
- Added a motorcycle unit to the fleet, as well as a Matrice 210 Drone with thermal imaging capabilities and trained 2 certified FAA drone pilots.
- Implemented UNIDOS Hispanic outreach program
- Created relationships with influencers such as the Chief’s Clergy Coalition to better understand community needs and concerns.
- Created a Quality of Life Officer position working with Social Service agencies: Access, Child Protective Services, and Mental Health agencies to provide better quality care to citizens challenged with mental health and drug addiction.
- The Quality of Life Officer also focuses on the mental wellness of our officers, ensuring they have the help to properly deal with PTSD and other job-related effects for a healthier department.
- Increased the department’s Social Media presence, allowing greatly increased community interaction through platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
- Created a successful Spanish Facebook Page, attracting 1,000+ followers in less than 3-days, and where relevant information is now disseminated about community events and critical situations.
- Created the P.L.A.C.E Team consisting of Police, Code Enforcement, Animal Control, and Litter Abatement that address quality of life concerns collectively, greatly increasing effectiveness.
“During Police Chief Harvey’s service to City of Palestine, he worked to reach out to involve various segments of our community,” said City Manager Leslie Cloer. “Community partnerships are necessary if a city wishes to grow. I thank Chief Harvey, not only for his service to various branches of the military, but also for what he has done for the City of Palestine and his prior agencies. The two of us will work together to plan for the smoothest transition prior to his departure on October 18th.”
“I will be seeking input from our elected officials, business owners, citizens of Palestine, and our employees to set a list of priorities as we plan for how the city moves forward to select a new police chief,” Cloer said. “As I just received this notice of Chief Harvey’s departure today, I will have to follow up with City Council to create our timeline for how Palestine plans to address this transition in leadership.”