New police chief gets acquainted
The first day in office was described as "uneventful" by Scott Burroughs, who began his new job as Port Aransas Chief of Police on Monday, Jan. 5.
"I ran with patrol officers on Sunday to visit with them and get a feel for the island. On Monday I met with my command staff and we went over my expectations and got a 'Readers Digest' version of department operations," Burroughs explained.
Burroughs was chosen as the city's new police chief after City Manager Michael Kovacs hired Mike Keller of Keller Consulting to conduct an assessment center operation for four finalists on Saturday, Nov. 22.
Kovacs announced his choice the following Monday, saying that Burroughs rose to the top of the list after the assessment session.
The new chief spent his first day filling out paperwork, conducting an interview with an area TV station news crew, doing a lot of reading and setting up his office.
"I've got a dozen boxes of stuff with me. I'm getting settled in and I hope I will get the opportunity to get out and meet with members of the community," Burroughs said.
He also spent time with Kovacs reviewing the city manager's expectations of the new police chief.
Burroughs said he plans to work with existing police department policies rather than making any drastic changes.
"My basic plan until Spring Break is to meet with community and government leaders, meet my counterparts in other nearby cities and set some priorities. I hope to develop a written action plan on the direction the department needs to take," Burroughs said.
One thing Burroughs is working to implement is the list of recommendations for department improvements that were provided by Keller Consulting in 2005.
"Overall, everything has been pleasantly surprising. Lt. (James) Stokes did a bang-up job as the interim chief, and he left very few residuals on my desk, without a lot of backlog," he said.
Although Burroughs said Spring Break would be his "Baptism by fire," he said he has had experience with large crowds in the Lake Travis area near Austin while he was with the Travis County Sheriff's Department.
"Every year they have the Republic of Texas bike rally, with 50,000 to 60,000 bikers, and I've worked with The University of Texas to coordinate events and football games.
"Lake Travis was in my jurisdiction, and I've had experience with transient populations," Burroughs said.
"I'm not completely wet behind the ears, but there's some moisture there," he said.