Thursday, September 23, 2021

Meet the City of Southlake Emergency Management Team

When it comes to preparedness the City of Southlake takes emergency management seriously. The City employs an Office of Emergency Management that assists the city, local businesses and the community throughout all phases of a disaster cycle: prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.

Emergency Manager Amanda Meneses provides strategic guidance and oversight to four program areas in the application of an all-hazards emergency management program. These programs include the emergency operations center, preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery. Meneses’ focus is on ensuring the City of Southlake can thrive in any emergency situation that the City may face. She works jointly with other city, state, federal and non-governmental entities in the execution of this mission.

Previously, Amanda served as a federal emergency telecommunicator supervisor in Washington D.C. In this role, she had primary responsibility of dispatching for several federal law enforcement and fire agencies around the Nation’s Capital, coordinated internal training and communications and served as a project manager for new and sensitive initiatives, including the roll-out of a new CAD system.  Meneses also did emergency dispatch for Kitsap County, outside of Seattle, Washington prior to moving to the D.C. area.

Meneses started her career in the United States Navy, serving 14 years. Her main function was military police/working dog handler. Amanda has worked both drug and explosive trained canines. She served both stateside and in Europe, with three deployments to the Middle East. Amanda holds a bachelor’s degree in emergency management from Kaplan University and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Columbia Southern University.

Emergency Management Specialist Isabella Uceda began her career at the City of Southlake as an intern with the Office of Emergency Management. Uceda is local to the area, graduating from Argyle High School in 2016.  She then continued her education at the University of Arlington, starting in the nutrition program, then after finding her true passion, majored in public health.

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in public health from the University of Texas at Arlington, Uceda came to work full-time at the City of Southlake. Her main focus is working on public education and becoming a continuity practitioner, allowing her to assist with the city-wide continuity of operations plan (COOP). She will also be working on the revitalization of a community emergency response team (CERT) among other emergency management practices to help improve the readiness and resiliency of the Southlake community.

Together, our Emergency Management team wants to make sure the City and the community are prepared and resilient in the event of an emergency.

For more information about emergency management in Southlake, go to www.CityofSouthlake.com/EmergencyManagement.

City Employee Mask Requirement Lifted

With the recent updated mask guidance provided last week by the CDC, the City of Southlake will no longer require face coverings be worn by its employees.

“The City of Southlake has followed federal, state and local health department guidelines throughout this pandemic and will continue to do so as we all move forward navigating the new realities of COVID-19,” Southlake Fire Chief Michael Starr said. “With widely-available vaccines and low local hospitalization and positivity rates, coupled with the new CDC guidelines issued last week, we feel confident that we can now allow our employees to perform their duties safely without continuing to require them to wear masks. Of course, employees who feel they need to continue wearing them may do so.”

This change follows the March 2020 lifting of mask requirements for visitors to City facilities which became effective once state and county mask mandates were rescinded. There are also a couple of other changes happening at the City of Southlake. Beginning May 19, Champions Club will no longer close midday for extensive COVID-19 cleaning. Be sure to check their website for updated hours and program information. Visit ChampionsClubSouthlake.com for more information.

The City will also no longer publish the COVID-19 case data dashboard specific to Southlake. However, residents can still view Southlake data on the Tarrant and Denton County website. Find these links at ProtectSouthlake.com.

The City would like to thank the Southlake community for all you have done in the past year to help protect Southlake and keep families, employees and visitors safe.

Interested in getting the vaccine? Contact your health care provider or find information from the State of Texas, Tarrant County and Denton County on where to get a vaccine at ProtectSouthlake.com.

Southlake Police Department Works Together to Protect Team During COVID-19

There are two aspects of the law enforcement profession that are constant: the call to act in an individual’s time of need and having to rely on others in your own time of need. Both aspects of a law enforcement career carry their own situational rules, all of which are aimed and geared towards providing a level of service to meet any identified need, regardless of the severity or quantity of people effected.

Many times officers are called upon by members of the community in times of duress, which can range from being stranded alongside the roadway in need of a tire change to other more serious instances involving a family crisis or in extreme cases, the need for protection against a family member or strangers. Without initially having all the specific facts for these types of emergencies, officers are expected to arrive prepared in their response while still acting within the confines of the law. However, what about the times when officers themselves need help, who can they call on for support?

In situations such as these, officers may turn towards their own and the assistance comes from within the agency or sometimes by other outreach groups within the community. Realizing that none of us have ever lived through the COVID-19 pandemic before, it has become a fast and accelerating learning curve for all. However, during this time, three individuals within the Southlake Police Department have worked behind the scenes and without recognition to keep all members of the agency, as well as other work groups within the City, protected when called upon to protect and meet the needs of the community.

Officer David Aldridge, Community Initiatives Coordinator Valerie Snyder and Administrative Secretary Diana Green have relentlessly searched for, coordinated and gathered needed supplies to keep officers of the Southlake Police Department in business since the beginning of the pandemic.

From the start of the COVID pandemic, Aldridge stepped up and assisted the Police Department in gathering Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other sanitation equipment. As the pandemic continued, Aldridge helped in creating a PPE and sanitation inventory to keep track of all PPE equipment for the department. During that time, he also became the main contact for Purchasing Manager Tim Slifka on receiving all PPE orders from the City and distributing them accordingly.

Aldridge worked closely with Snyder and Green to make sure items were ordered and distributed accordingly.

“Aldridge went out of his way on numerous occasions to be available for anyone who needed the PPE equipment and sort out all the shipments to make sure it got to the right department,” Patrol Captain Jose Luna said. “On top of it all, Aldridge is in charge of the patrol units for the department. During this pandemic, he also took a shipment of three new patrol vehicles and has worked hard to get them ready to hit the road. Officer Aldridge has always been a team player and makes himself available for anyone who needs assistance.”

Through coordinated efforts, Snyder and Green have reached out to numerous companies, supply chains, independent contractors and even generous citizens, in order to obtain basic needed supplies such as: hand sanitizer, gloves, masks, face shields, Tyvek suits and other sanitary products. Through their assistance, they have obtained enough supplies to build Aldridge’s inventory to allow officers to still function within the confines of the law and to respond to emergencies when called upon in time of need.

“I have directly witnessed Valerie’s assistance and the impact she has on the agency. Her ability to think outside of the box coupled with her intuitive nature, allowed her to navigate unknown systems where numerous individuals or corporations were applying and competing for the same resources,” Professional Standards Division Captain Jason Henninger said. “In many instances, it came down to the relationships she had previously built that allowed our agency to receive what was needed, which is immeasurable. Due to her ability to build these types of professional working relationships the agency recognizes her as a true and exceptional asset.”

The work of these three individuals has not been overlooked or forgotten, and will forever stand as examples of Innovation, Commitment to Excellence and Teamwork!

The Dos and Don’ts of Stay-at-Home

There are a lot of questions about what stay-at-home means and what you’re allowed and not allowed to do until the order expires April 7. To help, we created a list of dos and don’ts.

 

DO Walk Your Dog – Outside walks and jogs are permitted. Remember to follow social distancing requirements and stay six feet apart from others.

DON’T Go to the Playground – While City parks are open, playgrounds, basketball courts and other amenities are closed to the public. Here’s a breakdown of what’s open and what’s not. You can take a stroll in the park, as long as it’s not a social gathering or grouping outside of your household and you are following social distancing requirements.

DO Order Takeout or Delivery from a Southlake Restaurant – Restaurants can serve takeout and delivery. So, pick out a restaurant from this list and place your order!

DON’T Go To Work If You’re Not Considered an Essential Service or Business – Have questions? Take a look at our summary of the order. Telecommute when possible.

DO a Scavenger Hunt – While you’re exercising outdoors, play our scavenger hunt! Remember to follow the social distancing requirements.

DON’T Organize a Social Outing – Instead of meeting your friends in-person, organize a video chat.

DO Grocery Shop – Grocery stores are open, so pick up some necessities or order online and use the store’s pick up or delivery services.

DON’T Panic Buy – When shopping, buy what you need. There’s no need to hoard.

DO Have Fun – It’s a stressful time for all of us. Make the most of it with at-home activities. Here’s a list!

Have more questions? Watch Deputy Mayor Pro Tem John Huffman and Assistant City Manager Alison Ortowski give a breakdown in this video or review our summary of the order here.

View the full Tarrant County order here.

To help our community find the latest news and resources on the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, the City has created an information page on its website at www.ProtectSouthlake.com. Bookmark this page for easy, quick access to the information you need and stay on top of how the City is responding.

City of Southlake Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19

The City is aware of a positive COVID-19 test for a City of Southlake employee.

Tarrant County is following established procedures to trace any contact this employee might have had with others. The City is aware that this field employee had no contact with the public at work. They self-isolated early last week. In the interest of the employee’s privacy, this is the only publicly releasable information.

If you have COVID-19 questions, contact the Tarrant County COVID-19 hotline at (817) 248-6299. For the Tarrant County case status by city updates, click here. If you live in Denton County, please contact the Denton County Public Health Department. Their hotline number is  (940) 349-2585 for community members seeking additional information. The call center is open weekdays, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation is frequently changing. The City of Southlake is committed to working with our residents and businesses as this unprecedented situation unfolds. We continue to encourage everyone to make the best possible decisions by following expert guidance and advice, reducing the risk of being infected or infecting others, and staying up-to-date about the latest information.

We continue to encourage everyone to make the best possible decisions by following expert guidance and advice, reducing the risk of being infected or infecting others, and staying up-to-date about the latest information.

To help you stay informed as this situation evolves, the City of Southlake has created an information page, www.ProtectSouthlake.com, that provides a centralized place for Southlake news and resources. It also contains links to the COVID-19 pages located on county, state, and federal sites.

For mobile phone text message updates from the City, type PROTECTSLK to 888-777. Be sure to follow Mayor Hill’s Facebook page and the City’s Facebook page for the latest City news and to stay connected with us and each other.

Southlake Resident Tests Positive for COVID-19

The City has been made aware by Tarrant County Public Health that a fourth Southlake resident has tested positive for COVID-19.

In the interest of the resident’s privacy, this is the only publicly releasable information. If you have questions, contact the Tarrant County COVID-19 hotline at (817) 248-6299. For the Tarrant County case status by city updates, click here.

City leadership is following the guidance of state and local agencies to support the protection of public health in Southlake and the DFW area. The COVID-19 situation is frequently changing, and the City of Southlake is committed to working with our residents and businesses to work through this unprecedented situation.

We continue to encourage everyone to make the best possible decisions by following expert guidance and advice, reducing the risk of being infected or infecting others, and staying up-to-date about the latest information.

To help you to stay informed as this situation evolves, the City of Southlake has created a new information page, www.ProtectSouthlake.com, that provides a centralized place for Southlake news and resources. It also contains links to the COVID-19 pages located on county, state, and federal sites.

For mobile phone text message updates from the City, type PROTECTSLK to 888-777. Be sure to follow Mayor Hill’s Facebook page and the City’s social media for the latest City news and to stay connected with us and each other.

Access the City of Southlake Online

As we’re all practicing social distancing, the City of Southlake wants to remind you that we’re here for you!

You can still access us online. Pay your water bill, request an inspection, apply for a permit or read an ebook, all from the comfort of your own home.

To make it easy, we’ve created a web listing with links to all our online services that can be found here.

To help you find the latest news and resources on the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, visit www.ProtectSouthlake.com. Bookmark this page for easy, quick access to the information you need and stay on top of how the City is responding.

Stuck at Home? The Library Has You Covered!

Since events have been postponed, the sports world has all but shut down and there are only so many shows you can binge watch, you might feel like you’ll run out of entertainment options for your family during the next few weeks.

While the Southlake Public Library might not be physically open, you can still connect to us! We offer a variety of free entertainment options you can enjoy at any time, on any day, from the comfort of your home. All you need is your library card.

Don’t have a library card? Click here or call us at 817-748-8243.

Here are four FREE entertainment options for the whole family:

  1. BookFLIX – Grab a tablet and log the kids into BookFLIX for ebooks, audiobooks and videos for free!
  2. World Book – Here’s an option for kids and adults alike! Learn about nature, history and science with World Book. Use the login: Southlakelib and password: books.
  3. Cloud Library – Over 135,000 options of ebooks and e-audiobooks are available on our Cloud Library. There’s something for everyone in the family.
  4. Flipster – Looking for a magazine rather than a great work of fiction? Check out Flipster. From lifestyle, entertainment, to home and gardening, there’s bound to be an option you’re interested in. Use the login: Southlakelib and password: TxSouthLake2!.

Your Southlake Public Library is working on a few more innovative entertainment options. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for future announcements on how we’re continuing to enhance and deliver excellent services to our citizens.

Also, to help our community find the latest news and resources on the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, the City has created a new information page on its website at www.ProtectSouthlake.com. Bookmark this page for easy, quick access to the information you need and stay on top of how the City is responding.