Thursday, March 30, 2023

Southlake Takes Home Titles from TATOA 2022

At the 2022 TATOA (Texas Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors) Conference in McAllen, Texas, two departments from the City of Southlake were honored — the Department of Public Safety and the Office of Communications and Customer Experience.

The 26th annual conference for the TATOA organization was held on November 3-4, 2022, and included programming sessions geared toward the creation of videography and communications.

While the City of Southlake is dedicated to providing transparent and accurate information, it is also a goal of a few City staff to see this through creatively. Public Information Officer Brad Uptmore and Public Relations Coordinator Mikaela Hall ensure that information of all types is distributed to encompass both of these objectives.

A full list of the winning videos from TATOA 2022 is as follows:

A TATOA winner veteran, Public Information Officer Brad Uptmore has worked for the City of Southlake for over six years, first as a Patrol Officer and then moving into his current role. His Facebook humor garners the attention of many — even those that are not Southlake residents! More importantly, his approach to distributing information in a way that reaches people makes his work more impactful.

“I really enjoyed making the ‘Mascara DWI PSA’ piece the most because it was such a pivot to our normal zany, humorous videos. DWIs are a constant problem in Southlake, and most PSAs showcase over the top drinking — the parties, the clubs, the loud bars, but I wanted to focus on what I feel is the more common drinker — the subtle alcoholic who drinks all day,” said Officer Uptmore. “I really worked on making sure that if you re-watched it, you’d pick up on things you might have missed before.”

Public Relations Coordinator Mikaela Hall just celebrated her first year with the City of Southlake and is a TATOA winner rookie. One of her primary job functions is creating the Minute with the Mayor weekly segment from start to finish. She touches on each piece of the process — from its initial brainstorming, scripting, and coordination to production and editing. The topics of the segment vary from week to week. They can feature events, City Council updates, or entertainment pieces regarding noteworthy residents or programs in Southlake.

“The episode of Minute with the Mayor where we featured Tristan Paskvan was extremely special to me because it was a labor of love. With the help of Jason Tamplin, an outside contractor, we set up two lights, four microphones, and four cameras to capture Tristan’s monumental achievement,” said Hall. “It took me 14 hours to sync up all the audio streams, footage from the different cameras, the music he played at the end, and the photos and videos provided by his family, but it was worth it. Seeing Tristan’s family at the video shoot made me feel like I was doing something important for not only the Paskvan Family, but for the City as well.”

Although he is an outside contractor, Jason Tamplin assists the City with efforts on special projects as needed. He also is instrumental to ensuring the City Council meetings are streamed properly for citizen review and transparency purposes. He assisted Mikaela Hall in the Minute with the Mayor shoot mentioned above, and he is a valued member of our extended network.


For more about the TATOA conference, please visit their website.

Stay Prepared While on the Go – How to Prepare Your Vehicle Emergency Kit

National Preparedness Month is not limited to safety at home, it also expands to being prepared while on the go.

Whether your daily commute consists of work, home, school or long-distance trips, every driver should be prepared in the event an emergency happens while you’re in your car.

So how do you make a vehicle emergency kit? You can start gathering items you might need during an emergency.

You should also consider customizing your kit by adding items according to the size of your household. A family with small children may need essentials such as diapers, wipes and children’s medicine and a household with small pets may need extra bowls or food. Either way, personalizing your vehicle emergency kit will help you better prepare for those untimely events.

Here’s a list of items to keep in your vehicle:

  • Spare Tire
  • Jumper Cables
  • Tool Kit
  • Flashlight
  • Extra Batteries
  • First Aid Kit
  • Reflective Triangles and Vest
  • Rain Poncho
  • Blanket
  • Drinking Water and Nonperishable Food
  • Cell Phone Charger for Your Car
  • Duct Tape
  • Emergency Contact Info

Remember to check items every four to six months to avoid items from expiring. For more information on safety and preparedness, check out our Get Prepared webpage.

Peaceful Protest to Take Place Saturday In Town Square

The City of Southlake and the Southlake Police Department are aware of and are in regular contact with the organizers of a student-led protest scheduled to take place in Town Square this Saturday at 2:00 p.m. in response to the death of George Floyd.

The students have coordinated with the Police Department personnel so they understand what they can expect and, they have also been assigned a Southlake Police Officer Liaison for any questions they might have.

“The right to gather and peacefully protest is a right we support and ensure day-in and day-out,” said Assistant Police Chief Ashleigh Casey. “In each case, our goal is to maintain a peaceful environment while supporting freedom of speech and expression. In this instance, there are extra safety concerns since there are supposed to be young students involved.”

The Police Department has a strong operational plan and a commitment to maintaining order. “Southlake is considered a safe place, and we don’t want our well-meaning students negatively affected by unlawful activity,” Chief Casey added.

Community Conversations

“We have heard from many people with differing opinions about the protest,” said City Manager Shana Yelverton.  “First amendment rights are paramount, but safety is also a big concern, and we are doing what we can to let people know about what to expect on that day so they can make an informed decision.”

Conversations about the protest have also taken place between the City and the management of Town Square and other surrounding commercial properties.

Streets Closed

Certain streets surrounding Family Park in the front of the square will be closed to traffic to help support a safe demonstration. Town Hall will also be closed to the public for the weekend.

DPS Volunteers Help Make Southlake Possible

In 2018, over 6 million volunteers in the state of Texas contributed over 563 million hours of service, according to the Corporation for National and Community Service. Because of volunteers, organizations are able to see success in their initiatives by connecting generous participants with programs in need of resources and community involvement.

The City of Southlake is no exception. Our volunteers are a key resource to help make Southlake possible together.

Volunteering with the City isn’t always a few hours here and there. Southlake Department of Public Safety volunteers remain committed throughout the year to provide extra resources to the City.

During 2019, around 40 DPS volunteers completed over 3,600 hours of service to help make Southlake a better place. The devotion of the volunteers hasn’t gone unnoticed.

DPS volunteers are required to complete the Fire and Police Citizens Academy and maintain a commitment to be on call as needs arise. The academy is a one evening per week course that lasts 10 weeks and provides volunteers a working knowledge of the police and fire departments.

“Our volunteers are the best and we owe a lot of our success to them,” DPS Community Initiatives Coordinator Valerie Snyder said. “Because of them, our teams are able to achieve the highest standards for fire and police.

DPS volunteers provide citizen on patrol ride outs, event support and serve on the fire rehab team, making sure the fire team’s physical condition is maintained during an emergency or drill.

“Our volunteers are dedicated and take pride in giving back to their community,” Fire Prevention Officer Renni Burt said. “Together we are able to accomplish our goal to protect Southlake.”

For more information about volunteering, visit

New Proclamation: National Police Week

National Police Week will be the week of May 15-21, 2016 and National Peace Officers’ Memorial Day will be Sunday, May 15, 2016.

There are approximately 900,000 law enforcement officers serving in communities across the United States, including sixty two sworn members of the Southlake Police Department; and,

Whereas, some 48,000 assaults against law enforcement officers are reported each year, resulting in approximately 13,600 injuries; and,

Whereas, since the first recorded death in 1791, more than 20,000 law enforcement officers in the United States have made the ultimate sacrifice and been killed in the line of duty; and,

Whereas, the names of these dedicated public servants are engraved on the walls of the

National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. with 252 new names being added to the Memorial this spring; and,

Whereas, May 15th is designated as Peace Officers’ Memorial Day, with federal law (United States Code Title 4 Chapter 1 §7) directing that all flags be flown at half-staff on that date in honor of fallen officers and their families; and,

Whereas, the safety of our citizenry greatly depends on the services of the Southlake Police

Officers, as well as the many local, state and federal agencies that make up the law enforcement community in Tarrant County; now,

Therefore, I, Mayor Laura Hill on behalf of the City Council, do hereby proclaim the week of May 15-21, 2016, as National Police Week and Sunday, May 15, 2016, as National Peace Officers’ Memorial Day, and urge Southlake residents and civic organizations to salute our dedicated law enforcement professionals.

Go Red at Staying Alive Southlake February 15th; Free CPR Classes & Health Fair

The most popular color in Southlake is typically Carroll Dragon green, but this month the city is going red in honor of National Heart Month and the American Heart Association’s (AHA) annual Go Red for Women campaign. To help raise awareness about heart disease and preventive measures, the City of Southlake, in partnership with AHA, Southlake Chamber of Commerce, Carroll ISD, Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southlake and other community organizations, is hosting the inaugural Staying Alive Southlake event February 15, 10:00AM to 4:00PM, at Southlake DPS North Station.

Open to the public, the goal is to provide the Southlake community with a free, heart healthy and educational event. Heart disease is the number one killer of Americans, and it is the mission of the AHA to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

Activities include:

  • Hands-only CPR training from Southlake DPS and staff at Texas Health Southlake
  • Free CPR kits for each participant provided by AHA
  • Heart healthy recipes and samples from Central Market Southlake
  • Health screenings
  • Family exercise ideas
  • Fun giveaways from health fair vendors
  • Don’t text and drive information and demonstration from Southlake DPS

“The American Heart Association’s Staying Alive campaign is a natural fit for the city. One of our biggest concerns is always the safety of our citizens; no matter their age,” states City Council Member and event organizer Laura Hill. “How incredible if every adult and child knew CPR and had the confidence that if faced with an emergency, they could help save a life.”

According to Amanda Haggerty, director of marketing for AHA Tarrant County, nearly 400,000 cardiac arrests occur annually in the United States, and more than 7,200 DFW residents died from cardiovascular diseases in 2012. Hands-only CPR, which is performed to the rhythm of the disco classic “Stayin’ Alive” and has more than 100 beats per minute, can more than double or triple a person’s chance of survival.

“As a healthcare provider and community partner, we wholeheartedly support this event and our staff will be there throughout the day to help people learn how-to prevent heart disease,” said Traci Bernard, RN, president of Texas Health Southlake. “Staying Alive Southlake is a big part of our goal to be the reddest city in Tarrant County as part of American Heart Association’s ‘Paint the Town Red’ competition the hospital is participating in this month.”

New DPS North Station Reduces Response Time, Provides Regional Training Center

When the Crime Control and Prevention District (CCPD) was approved by voters in November 1997, the vision was clear: to allocate a dedicated funding source, via a half-cent sales tax, for programs and capital purchases to reduce crime, increase public safety and maintain a high quality of life in Southlake. During the past 17 years, this vision has come to fruition through the hiring of additional police offers, firefighters and school resource officers; acquiring vital equipment and software; implementing a citizen safety academy; and most notably, building three state-of-the-art public safety facilities, the last of which will officially open January 14.

“This facility is an investment in our community and a promise for enhanced safety and security for our residents,” adds Mayor John Terrell.  “The vision of the City Council and the Crime Control Prevention District Board for the DPS North Station has been years in the making, and we are proud of the work that everyone involved has put in to making this facility a success.”

Southlake’s DPS North Station has been in the making since June 2010, when City Council unanimously approved its construction. Located at 100 E. Dove Road near Bob Jones Park, the campus includes a 28,186 square foot operation and training building, and a separate 10,738 square foot firing range. Housing four firefighters per shift and a brand new engine, it is strategically positioned to serve the northern parts of the city faster, which results in saving lives and property.

Wade Carroll, Southlake’s deputy director of fire services, confirms this has already taken place since personnel began operating out of the building November 25.

“A structure fire was called in December 19 in Estes Park, which is a neighborhood down the street from the new station. Our guys arrived in just a little over three minutes and were able to contain the fire in the garage and keep it from damaging the rest of the home,” said Carroll, noting the average response time to north Southlake is approximately 10 minutes from the other two stations in the city.

However, DPS North was designed for more than emergency response. Equipped with three classrooms and an auditorium that can seat up to 100 people and has four flat screen monitors, surround sound and live streaming capabilities, it is meant to be a training center for internal purposes, as well as public and regional events. The adjacent underground gun range will also be made available to other DPS departments. A range master and two training officers (one for police and one for fire) are stationed at the facility and additional office space is available as the training program expands.

“There is no public safety facility like this in our neighboring cities and we expect it to be utilized for training activities throughout the year for our own employees, citizens and regional law enforcement partners,” Police Chief Stephen Mylett explained, adding initial events include a Business Safety Series starting January 29 and a city-wide CPR class February 15 in honor of the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign. “Not only does this keep our public safety employees nearby for training, but it will save the department money in training expenses.”

The DPS North Station also includes a walk-in clinic to assist injured persons, a kitchen and break area for training attendees, and a fitness room and living/sleeping quarters for fire personnel that were designed for quicker access to the engine bay.


Designed by Robert Garza, the same architect used for DPS Headquarters on Carroll Avenue, the buildings share similarities in exterior appearance, interior design and commemorative artwork that includes two bronze statues and a mural in the entrance depicting various scenes of police and fire personnel in the community.

Another unique feature of the DPS North Station is its nod to the environment. Using the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) guidelines, many energy efficient and conservation measures were implemented during construction:

  • low-emitting materials used for paint, sealants, adhesives, composite wood, etc.
  • certified wood and recycled materials
  • construction waste management
  • energy efficient lighting
  • energy management system
  • plastic and paper recycle bins located throughout the building
  • grass roof on underground firing range
  • native plants used in landscaping

LEED standards are intended to reduce energy and water usage, lower operating costs and improve comfort. As a result, an application has been submitted for the building’s LEED Gold Certification.

Saving lives and property is the mission of the Southlake Fire and Police Departments. Whether it is an auto accident, structure fire or medical emergency, getting there as fast as possible is critical to providing the highest level of public service. As one of only four accredited fire departments in Texas, Southlake must meet certain standards of operation and performance measures, including response times:

  • Dispatch time is measured from the time the dispatcher picks up the 911 call until the time they notify the department and station of their need to respond. The Commission on Fire Accreditation International and the National Fire Protection Agency set a standard for dispatching emergencies at 60 seconds.
  • Turn out time is measured from the time the station receives notification of the call until they leave the station for the emergency call.  The Commission on Fire Accreditation International and the National Fire Protection Agency set a standard for turn out time to emergencies at 80 seconds for fire emergencies and 60 seconds for medical emergencies.
  • Travel time is measured from the time the apparatus are en route to the time they arrive on the scene of the emergency.  National Fire Protection Agency set a standard for travel time to emergencies at 5 minutes.

Currently, Southlake Fire Department’s standard response time is 6 minutes and 30 seconds, surpassing the national standard by 30-40 seconds. With the opening of the DPS North Station, the goal is to reduce the response time to 5 minutes. During 2013, Southlake Fire Department responded to 2572 calls, 409 of which were in the north district.

“There is no such thing as status quo. We are either improving every day or we are growing stale and complacent,” stated Carroll. “The Fire Department does not have influence on the location of the emergency it responds to, but it does have control of how quickly help arrives. Our goal is the fastest response possible to all citizens within Southlake.”

For more photos of the Southlake DPS North Station grand opening, click here. For more information about the DPS North Station’s LEED Gold Certification features, click here.


Local Cities Combine Animal Control Ordinances-UPDATED

UPDATE August 16, 2013: The change to the zoning ordinance concerning livestock is still scheduled to go before the Planning and Zoning Commission on August 22nd.   However, the date that both proposed ordinances will be considered by the City Council will be determined at a later time.

UPDATE August 13, 2013: Following the August 12, 2013 SPIN  meeting, staff will recommend to the City Council that the existing provision, regarding the total amount of dogs and cats on private property remain the same.  The ordinance allows for a combine total of four (4) dogs and cats on properties less than one acre and six (6) on properties larger than one acre.


Southlake residents may experience minor changes in the City’s Animal Control Ordinance by the end of September.

A SPIN meeting on the proposed ordinance changes is scheduled for Monday, August 12th at 6:00 PM in the Town Hall meeting rooms.

Last year Southlake’s Department of Public Safety joined with the City of Colleyville to move all Animal Control Services to the City of Keller. Since this move there have been no reported customer service issues regarding the animal control matters.

The benefits to this plan are numerous and it is cost effective for the City and its citizens. “Southlake DPS is committed to providing excellent City services to our residents.  This multi-city agreement will add convenience and improved services to the citizens of Southlake whether it is help in finding a lost family pet or providing assistance with an animal control problem especially during nights and weekends,” said Police Chief Stephen Mylett.

Part of the consolidation plan is to streamline animal control city ordinances to apply to all three partnered cities. The City of Keller has taken the lead on putting together this ordinance, with input provided by both Southlake and Colleyville.

Registration Fees

Currently, the City of Southlake does not require a registration of pets, however, the proposed ordinance introduces the yearly registration of dogs and cats in order to ensure up to date rabies vaccinations. The fee for a fixed/altered animal is $5 per year and the fee for an unfixed/unaltered animal is $20 per year.

The ordinance introduces a fee schedule that outlines the costs of animal adoptions, impound fees, micro chipping, quarantining, dangerous animal registration, exotic animal registration, pick up fees, surrender fees, and dead animal removal. The collection of fees is used to help fund the Regional Animal Control Facility in Keller.

In addition to these fees, the City of Southlake has proposed changes to both its animal control and zoning ordinances regarding livestock, wildlife, and domestic animals. The following provides key points of the proposed changes to the ordinances:

  • Livestock—Changes to zoning ordinance (section 34) will require the minimum space area in which grazing animals are enclosed, to be no less than fifteen thousand continuous square feet per grazing animal over five hundred pounds and no less than five thousand square feet for other grazing animals.  Portions of the continuous area may be partitioned off for a corral or to separate animals for temporary periods.

  • Fowl—Residents may keep up to twelve hens per quarter acre of residential property. Any fowl other than hens—including roosters, ducks, turkeys, geese, etc. must be kept at least 150 feet from the property line.

  • Dogs and cats— Staff will recommend the ordinance stay the same with four (4) dogs and cats on properties less than one acre and six (6) on properties larger than one acre. (updated 8/13/2013)

Feral Hogs

Residents will not experience a change in how the City handles feral hogs. For more information about feral hogs or to get assistance in removing a feral hog or other wild animals, please contact 817-743-8627 or visit our feral hog webpage.

The change to the zoning ordinance (concerning livestock) is scheduled to be heard by the Planning and Zoning Commission on August 22nd.  City Council is scheduled to consider the changes in the fall.

More information regarding these and other proposed changes will be posted to in the coming days.

Annual Rotary Club Hosts Public Safety Celebration

The Rotary Club of Southlake will honor area firefighters, police officers and support personnel with its annual DPS Appreciation Celebration on Saturday, June 1, at the gazebo in Southlake Town Square.

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. visitors will find fire engines, police cars and motorcycles, as well as live music, children’s activities, a blood drive, free food and refreshments. The Rotary Club of Southlake would like to thank Freedom Powersports who is the Chief Sponsor for the event.

“We are so grateful to our public safety officers and this is our chance to celebrate all of them, we would like to invite the public to join in our celebration!” said Christine Singh, chair of the event.

Other local sponsors include Park Place Motorcars, Providential Realty Partners, Providence Bank of Texas, Sean Cerone, DDS, PA., Met life Auto & Home Insurance, Hendricks Insurance Agency, Juli Bledsoe Realtor, Mike Bowman, Inc. and many others. Donations from our local sponsors will help fund scholarships for the children of local public service workers. Last year’s event allowed the Southlake Rotary club to award $3000 in college scholarships to our DPS families.

Attendance is free and the public is encouraged to stop by to show their appreciation and support. Snoopy will be on hand to meet and greet all children.  Met Life Auto and Home Insurance in coordination with the Southlake Police Department will be providing free finger printing services for children.

Entertainment will include Hall’s Music Productions and Dana’s Studio of Dance. Other local businesses participating will be Rita’s Italian Ice, The Owl’s Nest, Aleda’s Pizza and Dickey’s BBQ.

Click here for more information about the Southlake Rotary Club.