The Southlake Kiwanis awarded the Sergeant John Stokes SRO of the Year Award to Officer Brett Roberson for 2023 and Officer Corey Rattan for 2024.   Nominations for the award came from a variety of teachers, school staff, and even residents.

Southlake Kiwanis is part of a global organization that is committed to improving the lives of children through several volunteer and community service initiatives. One of the ways it does that is by recognizing the efforts of first responders, which is why Southlake Kiwanis started the Heart of Service Award to honor Carroll ISD’s school resource officers.

The 2023 award winner, Officer Roberson, “embodies the spirit of service and safety” at Carroll Middle School.  “From offering personal support to addressing emergent needs, whether in collaboration with our staff in emergencies or engaging with students in the carline and lunch line, Officer Roberson is a testament to the profound impact a dedicated School Resource Officer can have on a school community,” CMS administration said.  “We are immensely grateful to have her as part of our team.

Officer Corey Rattan was the 2024 winner for his work at Carroll Senior High School.

“Officer Rattan is not just a guardian of our school grounds,” Principal Christina Benhoff said.  “He is a mentor, a role model, and a friend to our students. He is the first one to show up to a Chinese Club meeting, the first to get on the dance floor at Homecoming to show off his moves, the first to lend a helping hand when there’s physical labor to be done at the high school and the first to jump in when there’s a threat to the same campus that we all love.”

The Kiwanis and both schools wanted to recognize both officers’ service, sacrifice, and their unwavering commitment to the safety and well-being of our students and staff.

The Southlake DPS social media pages won the “Best Long Form Video” Golden Post Award at the national Government Social Media Awards in Palm Springs, California earlier this month.  The winning video “The Real Cops of Southlake” was a safety-laden parody of Bravo’s “The Real Housewives” series.

The video featured the trademark opening of the show, along with four vignettes, each covering topics such as drunk driving, speed enforcement, and theft prevention tips.  It did extremely well on every social platform scoring about 108,000 views, 1,900 likes, and over 600 shares. 

Southlake DPS has won this award back to back, as they also won last year’s “Best Long Form Video” Golden Post Award for their recruiting video, “Southlake Police Are Hiring,” which featured a George Strait look-a-like singing to “Amarillo By Morning.”

“I wrote the ‘Real Cops’ script in 2019, but just didn’t have the know-how, time, or expertise to make it then,” Southlake Public Information Officer Brad Uptmore said.  “One of my New Year’s resolutions was to get it filmed, edited, and finished in 2023.”

From the opening Andy Cohen sound-a-like (Southlake’s own Ryan Davis) to the police-themed Bravo show ads in the bottom right corner of the screen, Uptmore made sure the flair, graphics, and attitude could be mistaken for a real Bravo TV show.

“I watched hundreds of hours of ‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ for this project and not for my own amusement,” Uptmore said.  “I promise.  I only watched hours and hours of the show just for RESEARCH, and not to see the drama-filled, luxurious, and sometimes scandalous adventures of Kyle Richards and the other housewives for many, many seasons.  My incessant watching was just for this police project.”

Judge feedback included, "Southlake DPS always brings it to the Golden Post Awards! Great visuals, content that informs and engages - you're the social gov team everyone else wants to be." Another judge complimented, "This is AMAZING! I think my favorite part was seeing the popup ads for other shows on the PoePoe network LOL. Your attention to detail, scripting, and play on pop culture were top tier. Fabulous entry!"

The Southlake DPS social accounts were also a finalist for “Best Facebook Presence” and “Best Use of Social Media in an Emergency.”

The Southlake Police School Resource Officer Program continues to shine as a world-class SRO Program, locally and nationally. On March 20, 2023, Sgt. Blas Hernandez was recognized as the 2023 L.E.A.D. Instructor of the Year Award. Law Enforcement Against Drugs (L.E.A.D.) is a non-profit organization, supported by dedicated police officers, committed to protecting youth and communities from the proliferation of drugs, drug-related crimes, peer-to-peer/cyber bullying and violence.

In 2020, Sgt. Hernandez and Matt Petrie, a retired SRO and former DARE Officer, began the quest for educational programs that specifically target drug safety in schools. While steeped in research, Sgt. Hernandez discovered the L.E.A.D. program while completing his master’s degree in Criminology.

When asked why a program like L.E.A.D. is important to have in our schools, Sgt. Hernandez said, “The first 5-weeks of the curriculum focus on character building and I chose L.E.A.D. because it focuses more on developing confident and resilient kids as well as equipping them with the tools needed for drug resistance. After reviewing several drug safety programs, L.E.A.D. was my top choice.”

In 2022, with overwhelming support from the City of Southlake Crime Control Prevention District board members, SPD purchased its first L.E.A.D drug resistance education curriculum which is currently offered as an elective course available to 4th, 6th and 8th grade students in Carroll ISD.

The Southlake Police School Resource Officer Program continues to shine as a world-class SRO Program, locally and nationally. On March 20, 2023, Sgt. Blas Hernandez was recognized as the 2023 L.E.A.D. Instructor of the Year Award. Law Enforcement Against Drugs (L.E.A.D.) is a non-profit organization, supported by dedicated police officers, committed to protecting youth and communities from the proliferation of drugs, drug-related crimes, peer-to-peer/cyber bullying and violence.

In 2020, Sgt. Hernandez and Matt Petrie, a retired SRO and former DARE Officer, began the quest for educational programs that specifically target drug safety in schools. While steeped in research, Sgt. Hernandez discovered the L.E.A.D. program while completing his master’s degree in Criminology.

When asked why a program like L.E.A.D. is important to have in our schools, Sgt. Hernandez said, “The first 5-weeks of the curriculum focus on character building and I chose L.E.A.D. because it focuses more on developing confident and resilient kids as well as equipping them with the tools needed for drug resistance. After reviewing several drug safety programs, L.E.A.D. was my top choice.”

In 2022, with overwhelming support from the City of Southlake Crime Control Prevention District board members, SPD purchased its first L.E.A.D drug resistance education curriculum which is currently offered as an elective course available to 4th, 6th and 8th grade students in Carroll ISD.

The Southlake Police School Resource Officer Program continues to shine as a world-class SRO Program, locally and nationally. On March 20, 2023, Sgt. Blas Hernandez was recognized as the 2023 L.E.A.D. Instructor of the Year Award. Law Enforcement Against Drugs (L.E.A.D.) is a non-profit organization, supported by dedicated police officers, committed to protecting youth and communities from the proliferation of drugs, drug-related crimes, peer-to-peer/cyber bullying and violence.

In 2020, Sgt. Hernandez and Matt Petrie, a retired SRO and former DARE Officer, began the quest for educational programs that specifically target drug safety in schools. While steeped in research, Sgt. Hernandez discovered the L.E.A.D. program while completing his master’s degree in Criminology.

When asked why a program like L.E.A.D. is important to have in our schools, Sgt. Hernandez said, “The first 5-weeks of the curriculum focus on character building and I chose L.E.A.D. because it focuses more on developing confident and resilient kids as well as equipping them with the tools needed for drug resistance. After reviewing several drug safety programs, L.E.A.D. was my top choice.”

In 2022, with overwhelming support from the City of Southlake Crime Control Prevention District board members, SPD purchased its first L.E.A.D drug resistance education curriculum which is currently offered as an elective course available to 4th, 6th and 8th grade students in Carroll ISD.

Meet Cpl. Jeff Paul. He has served on the police force for the City of Southlake for 38 years. We had to ask, what’s the secret to his success?

 

1.What have you learned about yourself professionally during your time at Southlake?

I’ve learned that I have the ability to be a true professional with the opportunities that Southlake has given me for career development and other training on ethics in the workplace. I’ve learned that I am quite capable of owning my mistakes and I can move on, learning from the mistakes. None of us are perfect, but I know the end game.

 

2. What have you learned about the City during your tenure here?

The City has a lot more history to it than most people realize. The City was incorporated in 1956 but the area’s history, what now is Southlake, started decades before that. The City has grown from a rural, farming and ranching community of 2,800 when I started, to this modern city that has attracted large, major corporations to its portfolio of businesses with a population of over 32,000 – having started out as a “General Law” city and eventually becoming a “Home Rule” city with a city charter. Southlake has high standards for development which has contributed to it being the crown jewel among cities in Tarrant County.

 

3. Why do you like working for Southlake?

The City is run as a well-oiled machine. This makes it a great place to work. With over 500 employees, it still feels like family. Employees work together well with the common goal of taking care of the citizens by providing professional services that are expected in this community. I can say from personal experience, that the Police Department and Human Resources has supported me during very personal times in my life as an employee.

 

4. If you had advice for new employees what would that be?

Know the City’s core values and understand why they exist. Understand that you work for the citizens of Southlake and it is a privilege to work here. You should come to work each day with that in mind in order for you to be successful. Take advantage of training opportunities, as the City provides ample opportunity for career development at the City’s expense.

 

Interested in joining our world class team? Visit www.CityofSouthlakeJobs.com.

Southlake residents may have received a postcard in the mail recently talking about a City of Southlake app. We want you to know that the City of Southlake HAS NOT approved this postcard and has not partnered with any organization to produce the app or the postcard.
While we haven't yet confirmed the intent of those who mailed out these unauthorized postcards, the Southlake Police Department is currently investigating the matter. In the meantime, don't download this suspicious app!
If you have already downloaded the app, delete it, and monitor your personal information to ensure it is not used fraudulently in the future. If you notice any suspicious activity involving your personal information, contact the Southlake Police Department.
Phot of Post Card under investigation Photo of Post Card under investigation

The Mayor’s Alliance for Unity and Culture hosted a Virtual Town Hall on July 29 with the Southlake Police Department to ask and answer questions Southlake residents have about the Police Department.

Watch the event recording and follow-up video here.

Mayor Laura Hill was joined by Alliance members and Southlake residents Anthony Shelton and Elisa O’Callaghan to host and moderate the event. Acting Police Chief Ashleigh Casey answered questions along with Captain Randy Thomas, SRO Sergeant John Stokes, SRO Corporal Blas Hernandez, SRO Frank Rogers (Carroll Sr. High School), SRO Cory Rattan (Carroll High School), SRO Brett Roberson (Carroll Middle School), and SRO Anthony Pate (Dawson Middle School).

“The Alliance filled a complete calendar of incredible events for our citizens to experience during 2020 and had to be canceled due to COVID-19,” Hill said during the event. “They were quick to pivot this summer, especially after the murder of George Floyd. We came together and made the decision to give our citizens an opportunity to speak to us and ask us their questions.”

During the event, the Southlake Police Department answered questions that were submitted ahead of time by Southlake residents. Casey and her team answered questions relating to police policies, training and education, the School Resource Officer program, equipment and other policing matters. Though questions were not taken during the event, all questions asked were tracked and after the event Casey answered those questions.

Look for more virtual events from the Mayor’s Alliance coming this fall. Have an idea for a Mayor’s Alliance event? Submit it here.

The Mayor’s Alliance for Unity and Culture invites residents to a virtual Town Hall with the Southlake Police Department. Alliance members will be joined by Southlake Mayor Laura Hill, Assistant Police Chief Ashleigh Casey and members of the Southlake Police Department.

“The Alliance’s mission is to build community unity in Southlake,” Southlake Mayor Laura Hill said. “We know that building strong relationships starts with bringing everyone to the table to have a conversation. Through this event, our citizens will be able to get answers to their questions and share their concerns with the Police Department.”

The virtual Town Hall will take place on Wednesday, July 29 from 6 - 7 p.m.

Questions should be submitted to the Mayor’s Alliance by Tuesday, July 28 at 12 p.m., using this form. The Mayor’s Alliance members moderating the forum will ask questions as time allows and reserve questions for a future Town Hall, if needed.

To attend the Town Hall, visit: https://bit.ly/72920SLKMAUC. This Town Hall will be recorded and available on the City’s video on demand within 48 hours of the event.

For more information about the Southlake Police Department, please visit the City’s website.

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.

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