PALESTINE, Texas (July 28, 2016) – Palestine Police Chief Mike Alexander named Lt. J.M. Herod as the new Assistant Chief of the Palestine Police Department.
Herod, an 11-year veteran of the department, is currently the Lieutenant in charge of the department’s Criminal Investigation Division. Alexander named Herod’s promotion on Thursday.
“We’ve been fortunate enough to grow our leaders for several consecutive years now,” Alexander said. “and that means bringing additional team members to the leadership arena.
“I still take responsibility for the police department’s performance, but the only way we can remain on the same growing trajectory we’ve experienced over the last several years is to hand over a lot of areas of leadership to others. I take into account the perspectives of those who have assumed leadership roles at PPD, and look for their input, ideas and buy-in before we set a plan in motion.”
Herod joined the Palestine Police Department in January, 2005 where he served as a Patrol Officer until he was promoted to Sergeant in 2008. He continued on patrol until July 2015, when he received his current assignment as Lieutenant of the CID.
In addition to his direct assignment, Herod has also served as the Department Firearms Instructor, one of the PPD SWAT Team Commanders and as a Field Training Officer. In 2006, Herod received the Palestine Police Department Officer of the Year (PRIDE Patrolman) Award.
Herod also serves as a certified Texas Commission on Law Enforcement instructor in firearms, patrol rifle, OC (pepper) spray, ALERTT, and less lethal munitions. Herod currently holds an Advanced Peace Officer license from TCOLE and will receive a Master License within the next calendar year.
In addition to instructor certifications, Herod has also received training and certifications in leadership training from the Texas Police Chiefs Association; management training; field training certification; tactical specialties; and investigative specialties.
“I am very humbled that Chief Alexander has entrusted me with this position,” said Assistant Chief John Herod. “I am excited about this opportunity to help lead this department into the future. I hope to promote positive leadership and influence amongst the officers of this department and continue to fortify our relationship with the community.”
Herod lives in Palestine with his wife and children.
The City of Palestine Parks and Recreation Department will spray herbicide treatment starting Monday, Aug. 1. The parks will be closed that day due to spraying and reopen the morning after.
The spraying schedule is the following:
- Monday, Aug. 1 – Reagan Park
- Tuesday, Aug. 2 and Wednesday, Aug. 3 – Steven Bennett Park
- Thursday, Aug. 4 and Friday, Aug. 5 – Greens Park
- Saturday, Aug. 6 – Larry Street Park and Calhoun Park
- Monday, Aug. 8 – Willie Myers Park
For questions, contact the Parks and Recreation Department at 903-731-8435.
PALESTINE, Texas (July 26, 2016) – The Palestine Police Department is offering free active shooter response training for organizations, businesses and civilians in case they are ever faced with an active shooter situation.
The Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events, or CRASE, will give students the techniques necessary in a very dangerous environment and know what to do. The CRASE course is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 30, at the Palestine Police Department Training room inside the Palestine Mall, 2000 S. Loop 256
“Most people know how to respond during a fire drill,” Lt. Gabriel Green with the Palestine Police Department said. “CRASE teaches people survival strategies so they do not freeze up during an intense situation.”
The class teaches solutions and strategies on what law enforcement officers and agencies are frequently requested by schools, businesses, and community members for direction and presentations on what they should do if confronted with an active shooter event.
The Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE) course, designed and built on the “Avoid, Deny, Defend” strategy, provides strategies, guidance and a proven plan for surviving an active shooter event. Topics include the history and prevalence of active shooter events, the role of professional guardians, civilian response options, medical issues, and drills. The CRASE course was created by the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center at Texas State University.
Palestine Police will also be offering a separate segment of training to offer strategies for those with Texas Licenses to Carry handguns. Topics include discussions on what to consider in an active shooter situation, concealed vs. open carry, training routines and handgun retention techniques. No live weapons training will be given. Participants may legally carry firearms to the training, but will be required to put safely put away their firearms during certain portions of the training drills.
For more information on the CRASE course and Armed Citizen training, contact Lt. Gabriel Green or Sgt. Jeremy Jenkins at 903-729-2254. They are also available via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
To coincide with the burn ban enacted in Anderson County, the City of Palestine enacted a temporary burn ban effective immediately.
Information on burn bans and preparing for wildfires can be found at the Texas A&M Forest Service’s website at texasforestservice.tamu.edu.
PALESTINE, Texas (July 22, 2016) – The City of Palestine will hold examinations for entry-level officers for the Palestine Police Department at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 20, at the Palestine Police Department Training Room inside the Palestine Mall, 2000 S. Loop 256, Suite 38.
The test will start at 9 a.m. and applicants will need a photo ID to sit for the exam. Applicants who are late to the exam will not be admitted. If an applicant passes the written exam, he or she will take the physical agility test immediately following the exam at Fire Station No. 4 on Highway 287. Applicants must also sign and notarize a waiver for the physical agility exam.
Please contact the Palestine Police Department to receive an application packet and return to the following address by Thursday, Aug. 11, no later than 5 p.m. Sending in the application form and waivers, confirms an applicant is scheduled to take the exam and no further notices will be sent.
Send completed applications to:
Sgt. Jeremy Jenkins
City of Palestine Police Department
504 N. Queen St.
Palestine, TX 75801
Please attach a copy of a TCLEOSE certificate if certified. If an applicant has served in the military, please attach a copy of the applicant’s DD214. The two waiver forms must be signed, notarized and returned with the completed application.
For further questions, contact Susie Streb at 903-731-8421 or Sgt. Jeremy Jenkins at 903-729-2254.
PALESTINE, Texas (July 20, 2016) – The Palestine City Council approved on Monday July 18, two plans for reorganizing departments within city government.
The city’s Public Works and Finance departments will add employees while staying within their set budgets for 2016 and projected budget for 2017.
“We want to make our departments more effective and efficient by pushing some of the daily decision making to the lower levels.” Interim City Manager Mike Alexander said. “These moves will allow us to do that while being fiscally responsible.”
The Public Works and Utilities departments will combine under a single Public Works umbrella. Under the new structure, Director Tim Perry will have three deputy directors. Those deputies will then manage areas of expertise in Public Works: Utilities, Streets, and Facility Maintenance.
Public Works will also add an extra administrative assistant to its staff. Perry said the moves help everyone work together to get more accomplished.
“I believe this is a great opportunity to consolidate departments like utilities and public works,” Perry said. “We want to share resources and provide the best quality of life for our residents.”
In the Finance Department, the elimination of an assistant finance director will open funds for two positions, an administrative assistant and an accounting manager. Currently, the department has two accountants and an interim finance director.
Interim Finance Director Steve Groom said the changes will allow for improved customer service in the Finance Department while meeting the needs of the city.
“My goal is to increase the service hours available,” Groom said.
The council also named Groom the permanent Finance Director. Groom has served in the public sector since 2004, first in California and the City of Keller, Texas before moving to Palestine. He recently completed his certification with the Government Finance Officers Association of Texas.
“I am humbled and honored to become Finance Director,” Groom said. “Palestine has real potential and I look forward to serving this city now and in the future.”
The open positions in the Public Works and Finance departments will be advertised internally and externally.
PALESTINE, Texas (July 18, 2016) – The following is a statement from Palestine Police Chief Mike Alexander concerning the Sunday’s shooting in Baton Rouge, La.
"We want to thank everyone in Palestine for coming out in large numbers last Monday [July 11, 2016] to honor the men and women in uniform that put themselves in harm's way daily; standing in the gap to protect each of us.
"Not long after we have laid five officers to rest in Dallas, we now face another tragedy in Baton Rouge, La. We offer our thoughts and prayers as a police department and community to the officers and families. All police officers and their families, including ours, need prayers and support during these difficult times in our country.
"More than anything, you should know that we stand ready to serve. We need unity between the police and the communities we serve. We at the Palestine Police Department work to maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police is the public, and the public is the police. At all times, the police are committed members of this community who gives their undivided attention protecting the interests and welfare of our citizens.
"We have a great and peaceful community, and we wish to keep the unity we are building moving forward. I, along with our community liaison and the entire Palestine Police Department, will continue to be at your service."
PALESTINE, Texas - A boil order for customers on North Jackson Street has been lifted.
The following text is the legal notice required by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
Boil Water Rescind Notice
On July 14, 2016 , the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) required our public water system ,City of Palestine Utilities Department, PWS ID 0010001 to issue a Boil Water Notice (BWN) to inform our customers that due to the presence of contaminants or an interruption in service, water from our system must be boiled prior to consumption.
Our system has taken the necessary corrective actions to restore adequate pressure, disinfectant levels, and/or bacteriological quality and has provided TCEQ with testing results that indicate that the water no longer requires boiling as of July 16, 2016.
If you have questions, contact Victoria Minton at 903-731-8423.
If a customer wishes to reach TCEQ, they may call 512-239-4691.
The Palestine Library Friends book sale is scheduled for Saturday, July 16 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Palestine Mall, 2000 S. Loop 256. Books donated to the library or retired from library use will be available for purchase. A variety of titles and subjects will be available. The Palestine Library Friends support the library by raising funds through projects like quarterly book sales and membership drives. All proceeds benefit the Palestine Public Library. For more information, please call the Library at 903-729-4121.
PALESTINE, Texas - Starting Tuesday, July 12, FEMA will open a Disaster Recovery Center at the Palestine Mall. The center, located at 1920 S. Loop 256 inside the former pain management clinic, will help and check the status of applications for disaster relief and help applicants write letters of appeal from the April 30 flooding. The Disaster Recovery Center will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.
FEMA recently declared Anderson County, along with Cherokee, Smith, and Wood counties, to be part of a federally-declared disaster area and available for individual relief. The disaster area encompasses counties in Texas affected by heavy rains and major flooding from April 17 to April 30.
To apply for disaster assistance online, visit disasterassistance.gov, or call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Representatives from the Small Business Administration will also be on hand to help with federal disaster loans for businesses, nonprofits, homeowners, and renters.
PALESTINE, Texas (July 7, 2016) – The Palestine Athletic Complex will be buzzing with baseball this weekend as the Palestine Youth Athletic Association hosts four Texas Dixie Youth Baseball regional tournaments.
Starting on Saturday, July 9, and continuing through Monday, July 11, teams from ages 9 to 12 will compete for a chance at a Texas State Title later this summer. The AAA Division I and II tournament is for 9 and 10-year-olds and the Ozone Division I and II tournaments will host 11 and 12-year-old players.
The Palestine Youth Athletic Association will host the tournaments. Lemone Reece with the PYAA said he is excited for this large tournament to visit the city.
“This is going to be the biggest tournament we have hosted,” Reece said. “We have teams from a very wide area. The ballpark will be full for the next two days. I’m excited. I know the city’s excited.”
Starting at 9 a.m. Saturday, teams from 30 other cities and towns in Texas, will descend on the Palestine Athletic Complex for the tournament. The PYAA has asked Palestine Mayor Bob Herrington to throw the first pitch.
“It is exciting to have 32 teams, coaches and parents coming to Palestine and using our facilities,” Parks and Recreation Director Roy Crouch said. “Having the kids here, it is great to see the camaraderie and sportsmanship displayed in every game during the entire tournament.
“We thank the PYAA and its officers for hosting the tournament.”
The city itself is ready for the teams and families that will accompany them. Mary Raum, Tourism Marketing Manager for the City of Palestine, said the city is blessed to have been selected to host the tournaments.
“With 32 teams and more than 250 players, the economic impact of having these players in our community will surely be a boost to our local economy,” Raum said. “We are proud to have a venue that can accommodate a group this large and look forward to playing host to more teams and more sporting categories in the near future!”
Host Palestine will have two teams in the tournaments, one in the AAA South Division I region, and the Ozone Division I South Division I bracket. Palestine’s AAA team starts the tournament against Cleveland at 1 p.m. Saturday, and the Ozone team takes on Nacogdoches American at 3 p.m. Saturday.
The tournaments are double elimination. Play continues on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. for all tournaments. The semifinals and finals for each division will start at 12:30 p.m. Monday. The winners of each division will move on to the State Championship Series, hosted in Longview.
Day passes are $8 for adults and $3 for children ages 6 to 12.
PALESTINE, Texas (July 7, 2016) – The City of Palestine will spray for mosquitoes on Friday, July 8.
The city designated three areas for spraying. The areas selected for spraying include:
• Neighborhoods east of West Oak Street to Town Creek, extending south to Loop 256;
• Neighborhoods in the Westwood area, north to Bassett Creek and south to West Reagan Street;
• Neighborhoods south of Spring Street and the Union Pacific rail yard, extending south to West Cook Street;
The City of Palestine contracts its mosquito spraying needs to Vector Disease Control International. Residents can make mosquito complaints to the City of Palestine Development Services Department, Health Division, at 903-731-8492.
PALESTINE, Texas (July 6, 2016) – Representatives from FEMA will be in Palestine to speak with residents and homeowners affected by the April 30 flooding.
Starting the afternoon of Thursday, July 7, representatives will walk through the areas that had the heaviest amount of damage and go door-to-door to speak with residents or leave information. The purpose of the visit, Emergency Management Coordinator Scott Parkhurst said, is to make sure residents sign up for federal disaster assistance.
The representatives will be wearing clothing with the FEMA and Department of Homeland Security logo along with a federal ID badge. Those without these items are not with the federal government.
Individuals can apply for FEMA relief through the website disasterassistance.gov, or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). The site will direct applicants on the needed steps to receive individual assistance. Residents who reported damage to the city during the initial cleanup must still register with FEMA to receive assistance.
To help with the application process, the Palestine Public Library, 2000 S. Loop 256 inside the Palestine Mall, has opened its computer room for those who need to apply. The computers will be available during regular business hours. For more information, call the library at 903-729-4121.
Only one person per household can apply for assistance. During the application process, individuals should have his or her Social Security number, housing information, insurance and damage information, financial information and contact information. For assistance during the application process, call FEMA at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).
The government will continue to take applications until July 29.
PALESTINE, Texas (June 30, 2016) – When the sun goes down on July 4, the City of Palestine will light up with fireworks at Steven Bennett Park.
The annual fireworks show promises to live up to annual extravaganzas the city has performed to mark our nation’s birthday. Lone Star Fireworks will provide the show while Palestine radio station KYYK-FM 98.3 will provide musical accompaniment.
The park opens at 5 p.m. and will fill up quickly. Concessions will be available, and the proceeds will benefit the Hot Pepper Festival on Oct. 22.
To help with traffic around the Steven Bennett Park area, Palestine police and fire will be placed at several intersections. At the intersection of Moody Street and Loop 256, officers will block the road so residents will not be in the fireworks shooting area. The intersections of Palestine Avenue and Loop 256, and East Park Avenue and Loop 256 also will be manned, and will have message boards for information.
Officers will also be stationed at the Palestine YMCA, First Baptist Church, Christ Community Church and Story Intermediate School.
Barricades will be placed at the following intersections for traffic control:
• U.S. 79 near H&W Powersports (1534 E. Palestine Ave.)
• Wanda Street and Crest Drive
• Easy Street near Story Intermediate School
• East Newman Street and Loop 256
• Moody Street near Story Intermediate School
• Moody Street and Loop 256 (both sides of the highway)
• Loop 256 at the entrance to the Palestine YMCA
• Loop 256 at the entrance to Christ Community Church
• Loop 256 at the entrance to First Baptist Church
• Loop 256 and East Murchison Street
• Loop 256 and East Lacy Streets
After the fireworks show, residents are REQUIRED to make a right turn only onto Loop 256 to leave the show. No left turns will be allowed on Loop 256 after the show.
The fireworks show is a presentation of the City of Palestine’s Parks and Recreation Department, with assistance from the Palestine Police and Fire Departments.