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Posted on: Saturday, March 9, 2013
There is Unrest in the Texas City Police Department
   
 
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March 4, 2013

TEXAS CITY - There is unrest in the Texas City Police Department and according to at least half the officers below the command level, the morale is low, there is perceived favoritism by commanders, the loss of manpower on the streets is placing the officers and the public in danger, and there are excessive and unnecessary internal investigations of officers.

This is the general consensus of 44 Texas City police officers who participated recently in a survey commissioned by the Texas City Municipal Police Association and conducted by the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas (CLEAT) one of the largest law enforcement associations in Texas. The department employs 97 total officers including supervisors and command level officers.

In light of recent firings of police officers by Police Chief Robert Burby and other disiciplinary actions by he and his command staff, the TCMPA, a CLEAT affiliated officer organization, called for the survey of it's officers.  The results were presented to the TCMPA membership in a powerpoint presentation by CLEAT Wednesday night.

The 235 page report had already been sent to Mayor Matthew T. Doyle.

In it's assessement of the survey, CLEAT concluded that to optimally serve the community at large, there needs to be greater accountability of the command staff.  Actions taken by the Chief and upper command need to be less retaliative and more open to feedback from the officers.

There is a need to build morale and increase job satisfaction through the use of accountability, an open door policy and employee recognition which is nonpartisan, fair and equitable. 

There is a need for more consistent and enhanced communication across ALL levels of the TCPD.

To create a fair work environment and to improve morale, there needs to be communication of job-related criteria used for all selection decisions, especially promotions, which are explained to and understood by all.

Officer's who agreed to take the survey anonymously, were also invited to include their personal comments.

One of them wrote, "I am scared to do my job because our Administration (the Chief, Captain Stanton, Captain Clements, and Sgt. Pope) are vindictive and retaliate against those that have differences of opinions against their views. They play favortism and the  NARC / FIT Team can do no wrong. They are a protected class, which creates alot of anomosity from the other rank and file members of the department."

Another said, "I've been a police officer for over 20 years now, and I have never seen the morale at this place so low. It's seriously in a crisis mode here!"

Still another officer commented, "I think the black officers are not treated the same as the white officers.  If a black officer does the same policy violation as a white officer then the black officer will receive a write up and or suspention where the white officer will most likly receive a verball warning.  I feel really sorry for Officer Reynolds who is a 47 year old black officer and has been a very good officer for the last 4 years and have been discriminated and harassmed over policy violations that normally required verbal or written but he received suspensions.  Lately only black officers have been getting fired...Officer Reynolds in my opinion has been punished and mistreated".

Another comment from an officer read, "The way this department has changed over the past two years has made me feel that I need to apply for a different department. I feel that I am very qualified for my job and make good and sound decisions, but with the policy written the way it is, and enforced the way administration decides, I feel that I can not work without fear of being filed on for absolutely nothing.  With leadership changes, this could be an envied department to work for again."

"Due to the fact that the chief is African American he treats black males under his commnad in a very harsh manner.
I feel this survey is only going to make things worse for me and my family..  I just work here but now I am having to deal with this internal conflict.. I hope we can come to a peaceful resolution."

"I personally feel as if the Narc Team should be disbanded and placed back on Patrol."

Favoritism was a sore subject to several of the officers.  One wrote, "I feel favoritisim among Sgt. Pope, Cpl. Flores, the F.I.T. team or N.A.R.C. team and its members is more that apparent and more prevalent that other areas of the department.  I understand that on some level, favoritisim in every aspect of life exists, but, when it becomes unprofessional and apparent violations of policy, and even possibly laws are ignored, it becomes aggrecious in my opinion."

Another said, "Too much time and too many meeting on things other than police work!!  Need to get back to basics, enough policies and committees."

This officer pleaded for help, "TCPD used to be a desired department to work for, but now instead of applicants, we get laughed at due to our childish and immature ways of our administration.  Our patrolmen and women do their jobs to the best of their ability seeing how much stress the department itself brings. PLEASE HELP!"

Out of touch, said another, "Chief Robert Burby and Captain Joe Stanton are out of touch with their officers. A "closed door" policy, class warfare, and the chief's motto of "get them on policy violations now and dirty them up later" is no way to run a successful and productive department. I have been employed with the police department for several years, and this is the lowest I have ever seen morale. This all seems to have started after an officer won a grievance against the city. After this particular grievance the IA investigations multiplied ten-fold. There have been more IA investigations against officers in the past 8 months than the past 8 years. There is something terribly wrong when an officer is investigated for not updating an extra job form, but another officer (all members of the FIT team) can cause unjustified bodily injury to a citizen and not so much as an eyebrow is raised. The FIT team is out of control, and the chief allows it."

A 10-year veteran said, "I have been at TCPD for over 10 years and this is the lowest morale I have seen. Favoritism, positions taken from patrol for other gig positions are being done, people are being harassed, we do not have any leadership at the chief level and patrol, patrol captain has yelled in the hallway in front of officers and dispatchers when it was not called for, and officers giving up information to advance in the department. They do not go by experience/senority and see officers that speak out about the problems of the PD to be just a discruntled employee. I have seen favortism at its best. I could go on more but??"

An officer complained of one of the Captains, "This department was a good place to work prior to Stantons promotion.  Ever since Stanton became a Capt this department has been a place that breeds negativity."

Chief Burby is capable, BUT, this officer wrote. "Chief Burby is very capable of leading this department forward. But I feel he is being led from within by various retaliatory, bias, and subjective individuals for their own goals and purpose. I feel that this has led the Chief to be undermined by all at this department. If he has no hand in the goings-on with this department he is blind, corrupt, or doesn't care about his troops. I feel that the body is leading the snake. I believe that if you get on the wrong side of someone here they will find a way to fire you or ruin your credibility even by civil service by making up claims and filing false IA's (Internal Affairs Investigation) without complainants. I am dissatisfied with my job, Chief, Mayor, and feel that nothing can be done at our lower level. I feel as if I'm at will and they are trying to run it in the ground and see who is left after the smoke clears . This survey is like shooting BB's at a battleship, fun, but uneffective."

Contacted by The Police News, Chief Robert Burby said, "I really don't comment on things like that.  I've been chief here for 8 1/2 years and I look forward to coming to work everyday."

Burby said his department is doing a good job. "Our crime numbers are down.  Our department takes the lead in many investigations involving other departments and many other's look to us for leadership."

Chief Burby represents police chiefs on the board of the Texas Municipal League and serves on the board of the Texas Police Chief's Association.  He deferred comment on this story to Mayor Matthew Doyle.

The Police News called Mayor Doyle's office but our call went to voice mail and was not returned. 

This is undoubtedly not going to be the end of this story.  It came to The Police News in 235 pages.

Breck Porter


 



Comments:

Burby's comment "I really don't comment on things like that. I've been chief here for 8 1/2 years and I look forward to coming to work everyday."

This comment shows its all about him. Doesn't sound like his troops like to come to work everyday. I retired from a police department within the county I don't ever re-call Texas City PD taking the lead in an investigation on another police department. That is handle by the Sheriff Office or higher. Burby lies.

Wake up Burby take care of your officers.

Posted by Retired Cop at 3/4/2013 8:50:44 PM

While some if this information might be true and of concern, what was the person who made this available to paper thinking? Time should have been given for the mayor and commission to look it over, decipher the truth from it, and act on it it as needed. Have seen things like this before in a workplace and all this did was set the officers back and divide their Department further by handling it in the media instead of proper channels and processes. The court of public opinion is not always so easy to win in. Enjoy the effects that this and a "down economy" will certainly have on your paychecks as City Hall "tightens its fiscal belt" around your necks! Biting the hand that feeds you is not so smart when its your only source of food but the fools are fools for a reason huh?

Posted by TC ALUMNI at 3/4/2013 10:46:12 PM

The TCPD FIT is doing a great job. Keep up the pressure on the thugs, guys!

Posted by YouKnowWho at 3/5/2013 7:24:46 AM

Favoritism is rampant in just about all L.E. agencies. But, this total lack of confidence in upper-management at TCPD is troubling. Good Officers over there, so I hope this all gets worked out. Spend any time in L.E. and you'll see most of your stress originates from management, unfortunately.

Posted by theforce at 3/5/2013 7:53:41 AM

Wow, Chief, what a crock of shite! NOBODY in Galveston County law enforcement looks to TCPD for leadership, apparently not even your own troops. Your dept has operated in their own little bubble long before you popped up there, and has reputation of non cooperation with other agencies. It's obvious you must enjoy coming to work, as you plainly are not subjected to what the street cops are from your headshed of clowns. Maybe you should take this survey as what it is, a valuable tool and gauge for needed changes, and work with ALL your troops to make it better. But I'm sure that won't happen....the first step in fixing a problem is admitting you have one- apparently the command staff isn't to that point yet......probably because they are the problem.

Posted by Raylan Givens at 3/5/2013 8:13:31 AM

The Texas City police department is just as horrible as Galveston, power crazy people taking advantage of the system, and favortism is always rampant and police brutality is an everyday occurance.

Posted by JanKiml at 3/5/2013 9:20:15 AM

It is a sad day when department issues cannot be handle by the proper channels and are leaked to the press. If the officers spent as much time protecting and serving as they do looking at the other guys we would be a better community for it. This is a large department under half even participated in this survey and the survey does not represent every officer in the department

Posted by Concerned at 3/5/2013 10:46:24 AM

Chief burby is an excellent chief. Burby knows how to keep his men in line. Keep up the good work chief!

Posted by Jerry at 3/5/2013 11:38:06 AM

Chief Burby is the poorest excuse for a police chief there is! No support, no recognition, no Morale! He loves coming to work? He won't even say thank you to someone who opens a door for him! He is a politician and NOT a leader on any level!! He loves coming to work because he's turned that police department into hostile work environment! He loves being the supreme being! Nixon comes to mind! He'll sit in his office and listen and watch the buildings video and audio. And, he'll sit and watch the dashcam video looking to see if his name is uttered. If so He will sick his bulldog sergeant on you if you get out of line. Curtiss Pope is a headhunter! Google 'Quebe v Pope' and you'll see exactly what kind of person he is!!! And this is the guy who was in charge of the FIT/NARC team. He is a VERY shady individual with a horrible past!! Joe Stanton, is just doing what he is told to do. He's done that his entire career. Ross Clements is another person of question. One of the biggest backstabbers there is! This whole department needs to be restructured from the top down! Get rid of EVERYONE captain and above and start fresh. Burby should be ran out of town, as they all should!

Posted by knowsfirsthand at 3/5/2013 1:56:29 PM

THIS IS SIMPLY RIDICULOUS! SERIOUSLY 235 PAGES OF CRYING AND WHINING! THE PD NEEDS TO BE RAN A LITTLE MORE LIKE THE MILITARY NOT AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. AS A CITIZEN I AM NOT HAPPY THAT SO MUCH FOCUS IS BEING PLACED ON WHO'S THE FAVORITE, HE'S MEAN TO ME, THAT'S NOT FAIR... BLAH,BLAH! One of them wrote, "I am scared to do my job because our Administration (the Chief, Captain Stanton, Captain Clements, and Sgt. Pope) are vindictive and retaliate against those that have differences of opinions against their views. ~LET ME UNDERSTAND THIS... AFRAID TO DO YOUR JOB DUE TO DIFFERENCES... SO, YOUR DOING YOUR JOB WRONG AND BEING REPRIMANDED AKA VENGEANCE...~
Another said, "I've been a police officer for over 20 years now, and I have never seen the morale at this place so low. It's seriously in a crisis mode here!" ~SOUNDS TO ME LIKE THE LOW MORALE MAY BE DUE TO IMMATURITY AND JEALOUSY.

Posted by awolfe at 3/5/2013 2:07:06 PM

Everyone in the PD will know who posted this.

I worked at TCPD for almost 9 years and was a first line supervisor at the time I left. I gave up my supervisor position. My pay grade. My vacation. My seniority. My retirement just to start over at the bottom with another agency so I could get back to enjoying my job.

I was targeted for relatiation after I filed a grievance against Capt Staton when he was forcing officer to work extra jobs which is a direct violation of dept policy. His response was that he can violate the policy since he is an administrator.

After I won my grievance I had 6!!!! IAs filed against me with in 2.5 months. I had never been suspended in my life but got suspended multiple times and several other displinary actions taken against me right after I stood up to administation. Hell they even suspended my K9 from going to work just to punish me since I loved working with my dog.

I even pleaded with TC-HR to help with this blatton retaliation but they said they couldn't help me. Thats when I realized TC was going to trash my personal file so they could fire me and keep it to where I couldn't get another job

Luckily the other dept I applied for thinks TC is a joke and looked through my personal file and found all my displinary actions to be very excessive and they were happy to hire me even with all the crap TC admin out on my record as an employee.

The best part was TMPA and CLEAT fought TC admin on my displinary actions and got them dismissed.

I feel sorry for the officer I left behind The dept is seriously divided between patrol and admin. The officers spend more time trying to protect themselves from admin then they do protecting the streets. The officers are nervous about going out and being proactive since admin will attack everything they do.

Your average IAs around around 6. From March 2013- November 2012 the dept filed 53!!!! IAs .... 53!!!!!! That is crazy.

I hope this will help open the eyes of some people and get some changes made.

Good luck to all the officers that are still there.

Posted by RanofffromTCPD at 3/5/2013 2:20:13 PM

I am a 15+ year veteran at Texas City PD. I worked elsewhere before becoming a TCPD officer, so I guess you could say I have been around the block a time or two. I have seen many things in my career, but very little has ever garnered my attention as the actions of the current administration. I agree with some of the statements, however, it’s not just a bunch of crying and moaning going on for no reason. Also, I would like to clarify that there are 83 or 84 TCPD officers, not 97 as mentioned in the article. I believe 44 Officers took the survey. Therefore, the mentioned survey DID consist of approximately ½ of the departments officers. If you don’t work at TCPD or have not worked there in the last several years, you have no clue what this is about. For me, it’s about treating Officers with the respect they deserve. And have some ethics and morals while you’re at it. None of which the current TCPD administration has. Chief Burby and his constituents feel the need to open IA's on officers for MINOR infractions, even though during Officer Allens arbitration hearing he stated (on the stand) that his policies are left up to interpretation. Really?!! Hell, even the crime stats are played with to make the city’s crime rate look as though it is diminishing. (I’m curious if the Feds are aware of this.) This department’s administration is out of control. This article would have never been written if administration would not have acted as unprofessional and ridiculous as they have for the last couple years. This article is minor compared to what they have dragged officers and their families through. They have destroyed Officers lives, filing false or outlandish charges against them. Then, after they leave the department, they black ball them with other agencies so they can’t find another job. It should be obvious considering all criminal cases filed on any of the officers has been dropped once it went to court for trial. One of the cases only went because Admin withheld evidence from the DA because the charge would have been dismissed. When the DA found out about the evidence, the charge was immediately dismissed. I find it embarrassing. Let me give you an example. Officer Allen was filed against because Officer Authorlee claimed Allen tried to sexually assault her. I find it unusual that she claimed on a friday that he merely slapped her on the butt, and on Monday she remembers he slapped her on the butt, grabbed both of her arms from behind, forcing them up her back in a painful manner and threw her at or on the couch. How do you remember a slap but not the rest of the situation on the day you complain? Because she lied! As a matter of fact, she was caught lying on the stand multiple times. I’m not meaning to sound unsympathetic, I’m just stating facts. If it happened, then it should be dealt with. The problem is, it didn’t happen the way it was reported. Now here’s my point about favoritism. Cpl. Montgomery is the supervisor over the jail. Two female jailers came forward claiming he sexually harassed them. He was temporarily taken out of the division and a short time later, the two females were fired over BS reasons. The two cases later involved a settlement totaling around $100,000. He has since returned as supervisor over the jail...Probably because he chums it up with Burby in his office daily. Don’t you think a settlement would somewhat be an admittance of wrong doing? I do, especially if an incident like this occurs more than once. (I wonder if the tax payers are aware of this situation) And speaking of Burby, let’s ask about the sexual harassment claim made against him. His ex-secretary Theresa claimed he sexually harassed her, but it was made hush hush. She no longer works there. Imagine that. I find it funny that at meetings, Sexual Harassment is taught as a "No No" in the work place. Practice what you preach people!! How can you run a department based on fear and still demand respect? It ain’t gonna happen. I can’t tell you how many times I have walked past Burby in the hallway and said "Hello" only to receive no reply from him. Now I make it a point to say nothing and just keep walking. He is arrogant and does his best to intimidate. I don’t know why he does it, he just does. If you’re in a division, you don’t have these problems to speak of. But, if you’re on patrol, it seems you have a target on your back. Don’t know why. We just do. Few of us respect him. Most that do are arse kissers and have no complaints because they have "gigs." The mayor apparently thinks he hung the moon. I guess either he can’t see through the bull or just doesn’t care. And why is it that all 50+ IA's have been dismissed. And what about the grievances? They too have been settled. Probably because none of which had any merit. Somewhat like the Texas City PD administration. And the claim that Burby makes about other agencies looking to us for leadership and we take the lead in others investigations is a friggin’ joke. Other agencies laugh at us. I can’t tell you how many times people have spoken with me about the lack of leadership and the way we are perceived. The Crime Scene division is also in need of serous leadership and has no direction. They lose many of their cases and are perceived as having no ability to do anything correctly. The FIT (NARC) team is out of control and they have been heard stating they are untouchable. It was led by Sgt. C. Pope until recently. I am curious as to why he was made to leave the division. I hear he may get a job as Chief in Manvil. Good riddence!! This could be an amazing department to work for, but as long as this administration is intact, its gonna stay the same. Mayor Doyle, please make the right decision and dismiss Chief Burby. He is not wanted and the city could stand to have a respectful Chief with morals and ethics in his place.

Posted by stuckinthemud at 3/5/2013 8:28:56 PM

Ive been around TCPD many many years, and worked for other departments also. I have listened and read all the crying and complaining from all the officers. Wow it's so easy to see who they are writing on these post, The same type of people who would bitch if they won the lotto and had to pay taxes! Basically people you could never make happy, people so miserable in their own skin they cause problems for others! These are also the same officers that at one time had their career and marriges on the line cause of dumb decisions and were saved By the same admin they bitch about here! How soon we forget "mr. Stuckinthemud"........... Your just lucky I don't mention your name and drag you thru the mud like you are doing to others, the only reason is out of respect for your wife cause she doesn't know...

Here's a solution to all the problems:
If the officers are so unhappy at TCPD, LEAVE!! Last time I checked there is plenty of people that would take your jobs, the local academy's are producing good young men and women that would love to come make very good money with awesome benifits!

Life's too short to be unhappy so y'all should leave, after all according to y'all your all perfect human beings who wouldn't hire you ??

Leave the TCPD to the cops that are trying to solve crimes, protect people, cause last time I checked the non-crying officers are so busy they don't have time to write/leak info to the public!

Come on guys lets have some pride and grow up, your suppose to be professionals !!!!

Posted by TCPDVeteran at 3/5/2013 10:26:18 PM

Well one way to boost moral would be for patrol to be placed on 12 hour shifts as opposed to 8 hour shifts. There was a petition signed a while back and almost all of the patrol officers wanted 12 hour shifts. It was turned down for whatever reason. As of now most of the patrol officers get 2-4 weekends off a YEAR and that's including their vacation weeks. 12 hour shifts would allow more time off (weekends), which would result in a moral boost and less crying and wining about piddily BS! If admin bent a little (compromised) we would all get along with out feuding.

Posted by Antnobodygottime4dat at 3/6/2013 11:27:03 AM

I see the complaints being made against the Department and know how ya'll feel. Unfortunately for the guys getting messed around Galveston Co. is still with that Good Ole Boy mentallity. Its great that you all were given the opportunity to put them on Blast for all the wrong doing, keep up the struggle and don't give up. No matter what the Nay sayers, fakes , frauds, and suck ups say, everyone is entitled to a safe, comfortable, unhostile work environment.

Posted by YS at 3/6/2013 11:29:43 AM

Tcpd veteran, you should know that Tcpd is short on man power, because they don't care about their officers getting hurt, or just to damn cheap to hire more officers. A shift has six people (min) they let officers go home early or sit on a special extra job at city hall for 2+ hours. You also have you lazy officers that don't answer calls in their district, you have officers that sit on a civil matter call for 30 min(way to long) what I'm getting at is tell officers that are unhappy just to leave is only going to make things worst.

Posted by Tcpd at 3/6/2013 1:33:56 PM

I wonder if the officers crying are the same ones that are allowed to use City property (police cars) on their off duty jobs, like sitting in the middle of Texas avenue when BP contract workers leave their parking lot. That practice needs to stop!

Posted by YouKnowWho at 3/7/2013 7:51:27 AM

After reading the post and having first hand knowledge of TCPD, I have clearly come to know and understand the department. In admin they have a rule by fear standard operating procedure (S.O.P) and anyone who stands up for them self, they (Admin) takes this as a disrespect and or challenge that will result in the person taking up for them self having to deal with despaired treatment (Numerous reprimands and I.A’s). situation in point, last year when some of TCPD’s dirty laundry was being aired out and officers were beginning to stand up and fight Admin over mistreatments incident, Admin started almost 50 internal affairs investigations on patrol officer, some more than one I.A at a time. This is Admin’s way of restoring order by trying to put fear back in the officers and keep them from fighting back.

How Admin uses FEAR: The doing and or threat of conducting unnecessary write ups, Internal Affairs investigations “I.A’s” to falsely show a lack of competence that would aid them in a termination of the officer. In the event the officer still show the will to fight through civil service, criminal charges will follow in a hope the officer does not beat the criminal charges and or pleads to a lower charge so that the CITY and the OFFICER will never meet in a arbitration hearing.

In the criminal charges situations, TCPD will present untrue allegations and withhold vital information from the D.A’s office, which will be brought out in court and when TCPD questioned about it, they seem to have misplaced or lost evidence and or policy procedure, in which they write a new policy to help aid in cover-ups.

If you have spent time with officers from TCPD or one of are your relative’s works for the department, then you know my words have truth to them. Not all Admin are dirty cops, but some of them have great gigs and can do what they want when they want, so they don’t want to admit to or do anything to help the ones who suffer in the dept, for fear they would be retaliated against, lose their position (Rank or Golden Child status within the dept) and no longer be in the inner circle…..

City hall needs to either get rid of the Chief of Police and some of his inner circle or put a tight grip on their corruption with some demotions in rank…

Posted by itsawonder at 3/7/2013 9:41:20 AM

Horrible police force seems to be full of disrespectful bullies and the Hispanic officers have little respect for African Americans. I can see that some of them hate their jobs and it shows. They all should be required to have their microphones and dash cameras on at all time so they can show the public how some of them really act. If some of these officers needed my help I would refuse and look the other way. In life you get what you give. I am 100% sure that they harass blacks and one day it will come to the light.

Posted by Citizen X at 3/10/2013 12:44:58 PM

This part of the article below is true and correct. I am a Victim of the Fit Team. I recently had to file a civil Lawsuit against TC PD because of my civil rights being violated. I dont even live in Texas City. They came to LaMarque and violated me. Comment for Plumber Thorn aka YouKnowWho
You dont know the diffrence between a thug or a law abiding citizen or else you would still be a peace officer
all members of the FIT team can cause unjustified bodily injury to a citizen and not so much as an eyebrow is raised. The FIT team is out of control and the chief allows it.

Posted by Buddy MF Sanford at 4/15/2013 2:10:00 AM

I would also like to add after I filed this suit against Texas City Police Department on March 22, 2013. The Attorney representing Texas City Called asking me if I would settle out of Court for 2,500 dollars. That was a Joke considering what they did to me and my family on camera, not to mention it cost me 30,000 plus. WHAT A JOKE.

Posted by Buddy MF Sanford at 4/15/2013 2:37:50 AM

How come no one is talking about former Officer John Gene Thorn. He was Charged with Felony child abuse. It Just went away aslong as he gave up his peace officer Lic. How was that Justice, wait I remember thats how Galveston officals do it. scratch my back and Ill scrubb yours..

Posted by Buddy MF Sanford at 4/15/2013 3:27:05 AM

Yes the TCPD has A LOT of corruption from within and I can PROVE some of it. Local activist on the watch. All of you GOOD officers will be vindicating. This is the year we topple the bad. The TCPD should know me by now. I'm the guy who has been videotaping you and putting you on Youtube since 2010. Yep! It's over...

Posted by Matthew Daniels at 5/17/2013 11:11:56 AM

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