Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Halloween Tips and Tricks

Get out the face paint and pumpkins! Halloween is right around the corner! 

This year’s activities may look a little different. The CDC has issued recommendations for traditional Halloween activities and categorized them as low, moderate and high-risk activities to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. 


Looking for something to do? Try one of these fun activities! 

City Receives Three TAMIO Awards For Communication Excellence

The City of Southlake took home three awards from the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers (TAMIO) for government communication excellence.

The Mayor’s Alliance for Unity and Culture video was announced as the winner in the Public Service Announcement Marketing video category. The City worked with Mayor Laura Hill to create the video after two racially charged incidents. The video served as an invitation for people to join the Alliance, which now has more than 30 members and is working toward the creation of a community plan. The video can be viewed in its entirety by clicking here. To learn more about the Mayor’s Alliance, visit

Mayor's Alliance for Unity and CultureAn Award of Excellence was given to Southlake DPS for Best Use of Social Media (Planned). The Humanizing the Badge social media posts on three main areas: sound police management practices and protocols, the officers’ professional training, and their relationship-building activities. The campaign was also the recipient of the Public Relations of America’s (PRSA) Silver Anvil Award for Best Campaign $5,000 or less, Government. If you haven’t already, check out the Southlake DPS Facebook and Twitter pages by clicking here and here.

Southlake DPS was also recognized with a TAMIO Award of Honor for its educational Public Service Announcement – Southlake Police Speeding Infomercial. The video was produced in a funny infomercial style to detail the process of what happens when drivers get a speeding ticket and how they can avoid this hassle in the future. To view the infomercial, click here.

“We are always striving to find new ways to inform and to get our residents involved and engaged in City government,” said Assistant City Manager Alison Ortowski. “We are honored that the judges made special note of these communication and marketing efforts.”

TAMIO recognizes municipalities for communication excellence in more than 20 categories. The City of Southlake received two awards in 2018 for including one for its Bench the Grinch video reminding people to Hide, Lock, Take.

City of Southlake Wins PRSA Silver Anvil Award

The City of Southlake is the recipient of the Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) Silver Anvil Award for the Most Effective Campaign $5,000 Or Less, Government.

“I am so proud of Southlake DPS and the City for their amazing efforts,” said Southlake Mayor Laura Hill.  “They have taken a humorous yet effective approach to ensure the safety and security of the people who live, work, and drive in Southlake. I love how they went about it.”

In early 2018, the Police Department set a goal to “Humanize the Badge” and to eliminate the “cop talk” that often tended to be formal and uninviting.

What replaced it?  A fun, pop culture driven social media strategy that would help cement the public’s trust with a nationally accredited Police Department that protects, is compassionate, and engages with the people they serve.

“The innovative and unconventional approach took a leap of faith,” said City Manager Shana Yelverton. “But we felt the risk was worth it to get important messages to the public in a form they could digest and enjoy.”

“We had a good following on the Southlake DPS Facebook accounts,” said Police Chief James Brandon.  “But with our change in strategy, we saw a 285% increase in Facebook followers, which was important to achieving a crowdsourcing approach to ensuring safety and security.”

As the following grew, the posts focused on three main areas: sound police management practices and protocols, the officers’ professional training, and their relationship-building activities.  But make no mistake, the approach was anything but ordinary.

People started noticing after a Facebook and Twitter post called “GURL CALL ME.”

The post was a “letter” written to a woman suspected of identity theft. The letter was much more than the usual, “we are looking for this criminal” narrative, as it used emojis and “teen girl talk” to give facts about the case and also signed off with the now infamous phrase GURL CALL ME. With this post, the Southlake DPS Facebook page saw its following double in less than 24 hours, reaching more than 3.1 million people and 1.7 million engagements.

The person behind the video, memes, and fun writing is Officer Brad Uptmore. His Baylor University film degree along with 12 and half years of police experience, was put to work to make the strategy come alive. Since that first viral post, Uptmore has created more than several dozens of videos including the popular Pumpkin Spice Citations video and the Use Your JAR JAR BLINKER when driving on Star Wars Day video.  He’s also created dozens of memes including the long-standing joke/reminder to drive 30mph on Randol Mill since it’s a road construction zone.  But despite the light-hearted demeanor, Officer Uptmore is all business when it comes to safety and security.

“It is such a privilege to do this job,” said Officer Uptmore. “Chief Brandon’s willingness to let me try different ideas to help people be safe and make safe choices as well as get to know our officers? It’s a win-win!”

Since 1944, PRSA has awarded Silver Anvil Awards annually to organizations around the world for outstanding strategic public relations programs. According to the PRSA website, judges look for programs or campaigns “that incorporate sound insights and analysis, planning, execution, and evaluation. They must meet the highest standards of performance in the profession.”

The Silver Anvil Award for the Most Effective Campaign $5,000 Or Less, Government is the City of Southlake’s first PRSA Silver Anvil Award.

Bells will toll in Southlake on November 11 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I: Find out how you can get involved too

November 11, 2018 will mark the Centennial anniversary of the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 when the Great War ended.

To help commemorate this 100th anniversary of the signing of Armistice that ended World War I, the U. S. World War I Centennial Commission is sponsoring a nationwide Bells of Peace effort. On Sunday, November 11, 2018, at 11:00 a.m. local time across the United States bells will toll slowly 21 times in honor of all those who sacrificed in WWI. More than 200,000 Americans were wounded in WWI and 116,516 lost their lives in battle.

The World War I Centennial Commission is encouraging groups to participate in Bells of Peace. You or your group can be a part of this effort by visiting the Bells of Peace website and signing up. No bell? No worries, the Bells of Peace website offers a special downloadable smartphone app to help you participate in your own way.

In Southlake, the City will be joining the Southlake Historical Society’s efforts by tolling bells at DPS Headquarters on November 11. The Historical Society has also asked local churches to toll their bells and will place wreaths in honor of our fallen heroes at the two Southlake cemeteries serving as the final resting place for WWI veterans, White’s Chapel and Lonesome Dove.

“The 21 tolls of bell symbolize one of our nation’s highest honors,” said Fire Chief Michael Starr. “We are honored to participate in this effort joining groups across the country to commemorate the 100th anniversary of such an important piece of our history. This is a simple way for us to help pay our respects to all those who fought in World War I.”

Update to Home Invasion: Suspect Sketch

The Southlake Police Department is asking for your help in identifying one of the suspects involved in the recent home invasion on May 2, 2017. Police have developed the following sketch:

Suspect Sketch

Once again, this suspect is a white male in his early 30’s, around 6’0″ tall and heavyset. At the time of the offense, he was wearing a baseball cap with a “Cub Scout Leader” emblem in black and neon green embroidery, thin brown wireframe glasses, a long-sleeved button-down dress shirt, dark pants, and dark dress shoes.

If you have any information about this case or the suspects involved, please contact Southlake Police Detective J. Ellis at (817) 748-8123.

Southlake Public Safety Employees Complete DPS Leadership Academy

Over the last six months, 13 Public Safety employees have participated in our third DPS Leadership Academy. The Leadership Academy was developed as a way to bring members of both the Fire and Police departments together to strengthen their skills as leaders. Its purpose is to develop quality leadership and management, manage our organizational philosophy, culture and values, and build organizational capacity. The program included both internal and external experts who spoke on the topics of Pride and Ownership, Critical Thinking & Decision Making, Leadership & Communication Styles, Generational Differences, Employee Relations, and Southlake’s Strategy. This program was originally made possible by a very generous anonymous donation facilitated through SDCA.

On April 26, 2017 the City celebrated the graduation of the program participants listed below. At the graduation ceremony, each participant spoke about what they learned from the program and how they will use it to become a better leader. The program was very successful and we look forward to offering it again in the future.

Robert Briggs, Police Corporal
Officer Joshua Ellis, Police Officer
Officer Delaney Green, Police Officer
Cpl Preston Logan, Police Corporal
Cpl Christopher Melton, Police Corporal
Officer Thomas Roberson, Police Officer
Officer Weston Wood, Police Officer
Joshua Bors, Fire Engineer
Ricky Davis, Fire Lieutenant
Jimmy Elliott, Fire Engineer
Daniel Massengale, Fire Engineer
Robert McCallion, Fire Engineer
Brent Nobile, Fire Engineer

Congratulations to all the participants!

Siren GPS Mobile App available to Southlake residents

Southlake residents now have a new way to reach out for help in the event of a 9-1-1 emergency. Beginning the week of December 12th, Southlake residents will have access to a mobile application called Siren GPS.

The system functions through a mobile app which can be downloaded on smartphones. When called through the app, Siren GPS provides a precise caller location. Northeast Tarrant County Communications (NETCOM), the shared 9-1-1 center for Southlake, Keller, Colleyville, and Westlake is the first 9-1-1 operations center in Texas to be equipped with this new technology.

“This tool will be helpful for our first responders,” said Southlake Fire Chief Michael Starr. “Southlake Residents and business owners should also be assured that regular calls to 9-1-1 will result with immediate service to people in need. Currently, we arrive at most emergency calls in 5 minutes and 33 seconds or less.”

Chief James Brandon also notes, “The safety of our residents and the protection of property is our top priority. We appreciate our partnership with NETCOM and the center’s support of the Southlake DPS mission.”

How to get the App:

    1. Go to the I-tunes App or for android on Google Play and download the free SirenGPS mobile app.
    2. Create an account
    3. Southlake residents: Join NETCOM 911 which allows you to make 9-1-1 phone calls from the Siren GPS App.
    4. Fill out, if desired, the important medical information for emergency responders, such as major health issues, medications, allergies, and a photo so that responders immediately recognize the person needing medical attention. Also, consider filling out “next of kin” notifications.
    5. That’s it!


For more information about NETCOM 9-1-1’s Siren GPS mobile app please visit:

Emergency Preparation Supplies Sales Tax Holiday

If an emergency occurred tomorrow, would you be prepared?

During a disaster you may not have access to food, water, or electricity for several days. North Texas is particularly vulnerable to frequent tornadoes, hail, gusty winds, flooding, and even wildfires.  Preparing your family is an essential step to keeping them safe and healthy during a disaster.

So how can you become prepared? Beginning April 23 at 12:01 a.m., as part of the state’s Emergency Preparation Supplies Sales Tax Holiday, you and your family can purchase emergency preparation supplies tax free until midnight on April 25th.  There is no limit on the number of qualifying items you can purchase — among some of the emergency supplies are batteries, weather radios, flashlights and first aid kits.

“This tax free holiday serves as a reminder to families about the importance of being prepared while providing a good opportunity to stock up on emergency supplies tax free”, said City of Southlake Emergency Management Coordinator Ben Williamson.

Among the items available to purchase tax free are portable generators and emergency ladders which carry a traditionally higher price tag.

For a full list of tax exempted emergency supplies, visit the Texas Comptrollers Website.

Recent Storms Cause Road Closures in Southlake and Grapevine

The water approaching North White Chapel is ten feet deep in some areas.

The water approaching North White Chapel is ten feet deep in some areas.

The thunderstorms which hit the metroplex Thursday night into Friday morning have caused road closures and event cancellations all over the DFW area.

In Southlake, drivers should be aware the area near the 3400 block of North White Chapel is closed due to flooding.  The roads were closed early Friday morning and will remain closed until further notice.  Public Works teams say the water is ten feet deep in some areas which is why they are asking drivers and pedestrians to stay out of the area. Road barricades have been placed near the affected area, drivers are asked use TW King as an alternate route.

Tonight after rush hour, the City of Grapevine will close Dove Road between Hyland Greens and Silvercrest because of rising water.  They will also close Fairway Drive so the Lake Grapevine spillway can be opened.  The City of Grapevine says that both roads will be closed until the water recedes away from the roads and the spillway can be closed.

Southlake DPS would like to remind you that if you are on the roadways here in Southlake or in other parts of DFW and see road barricades or flooding conditions, Turn Around, Don’t Drown

Weekend Events

Southlake Community Services has canceled the Family Camp Out that was scheduled for Bob Jones Park this weekend.  For more information, please call the Community Services department at (817) 748-8019.

Summer Kickoff will move inside Town Hall tomorrow. The event will still be from 10 AM – 1 PM and include all planned activities except for the bounce houses and live band.  We hope to see you there, rain or shine.