Davis reflects on first few months
Since being sworn-in Feb. 2, Bridge City Police Chief Paul T. Davis has had a chance to look over a few things. He’s made a few in-house changes, with more visible-to-the-public changes possible in the future.

Despite living in Austin when he served with the Texas Department of Safety (attaining the rank of major), Davis, 46, never really left Bridge City. He served with DPS more than 20 years, commuting between Bridge City and an Austin apartment. 

Davis and his wife Kim have two children, Madison and Mason.

The graduate of Bridge City High School, Lamar University and the Southern Police Institute of Louisville, Ky., got the job several months after longtime chief Steve Faircloth retired in 2008. Bridge City police veteran Maj. Joey Hargrave served as interim chief.

Under Davis’ administration, the department has 12 commissioned officers, 13 including the chief. Davis says he’s felt comfortable making very little in personnel changes. 

“I’ve had time to look at the way we’ve handled some established practices to see if anything immediately needed changing, and we have streamlined a few internal things,” Davis says. 

“In the future we may see a new design on our cars and patches, maybe even our uniforms, but a lot of this is still up in the air.”

In a late Tuesday workshop with the Bridge City City Council, Davis presented some artist’s design suggestions.

“When people see these, we want people to know this is a Bridge City police car and a Bridge City policeman. We want the citizens to be proud of these and not just say, ‘There’s a police car. Where’s it from?’”

In what might be a surprising statement to some, Davis says there have been no significant changes in crimes statistics in Bridge City since Hurricane Ike. 

“Of course, there is an increase of workers in town, but any increase in the type or number of crimes is not indicative at this point,” he says. “The number of calls per service has not increased, if you were to do a comparison year-by-year.”

Davis says he has asked his officers to be more visible and accessible to the public.

“I feel like they might have needed to be more so in the past,” he says. “We are really trying to step up efforts to be accessible to anyone who needs us – for any reason.” He said that if he or his staff can be of help, residents may call 735-5028.

Also in Tuesday’s workshop, Davis outlined a newer, more uniform traffic enforcement policy.

“Previously they had absolutely no policy regarding traffic violations,” he told council. “From how to contact a violator, or what constituted a violation where you ought to draw a line in the sand basically and say ‘This is a ticket’ or ‘This is a warning.’

Basically the citizens are treated the same whether they’re on this side town, that side of town or wherever.” 

Davis also presented information about providing laptop computers in patrol cars, using software programs that would expedite the ticket process; therefore easing up red tape between the police department and courtroom. 

“A good example would be where someone gets a ticket and says, ‘I’m from out of town. I want to take care of this immediately.’

Under this concept, it could be done instead of just waiting.”