Mineola City Council adopts contract for cost of specialty police training

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Mineola City Council approved a contract Monday for members of the police department who undergo specialized training.

After some discussion, the measure was approved 5-1 with Greg Hollen opposing.

The matter was brought up in an effort to keep the department from being a training ground for officers who move on to other jobs.

Hollen said the department’s turnover rate is not bad, and the contract adds a negative to what is otherwise a positive working environment.

Other council members supported the idea, noting that it shows a commitment on the part of the officer.

The contract would require the officer to remain two years after receiving specialized training. It does not apply to standard training, for example, for a new officer.

The specialized training, for example as a criminal investigator, costs the city $2,000 to $2,500.

In researching the matter, city staff did not find another area department that requires this, the closest being Benbrook on the west side of Fort Worth.

Hollen said that would put the city at a disadvantage in recruiting.

The council also approved an engineering agreement for work to extend city utilities to a planned housing development on FM 1254 just south of the Mineola Youth Foundation ballpark.

The project includes a sewer lift station, and total estimate for the project is up to $315,000.

City Manager Mercy Rushing said the 10 acres would be up for annexation at the next council meeting.

The meeting was held via teleconference, and a computer issue prevented Rushing from updating the council on the ongoing efforts to manage the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mayor Kevin White said the amount of effort put in by city staff the past two weeks is beyond description. He added that there are more long days ahead.

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