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Pampa City Commissioners hear police report, approve PRPC grants

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The City of Pampa Commissioners met on Monday afternoon via Zoom for a regularly-scheduled meeting.

During the meeting, Pampa Police Chief Lance Richburg presented the annual police report to the Commissioners.

Richburg said the reporting had changed with more intricate data for comparative analysis. The COVID-19 pandemic also made an impact on the report, as well.

“We limited contact with the community as much as possible as to be responsible to this pandemic,” Richburg said. “You’ll see that reflected in some of the numbers that we have.”

There was a total of 3,819 traffic stops. Only one of those stops was the race known prior to the stop, the break-down was as follows: eight Alaska native/American Indian, 21 Asian/Pacific Island, 174 African-American, 2,715 White, 918 Hispanic/Latino; 2,300 male, 1,519 female. There were 216 searches conducted on those stops, 20 were African-American, 43 Hispanic/Latino, 153 White. 

“Seventy-six of those were made with consent,” Richburg said. “There was no contraband found on consent searches. There were 101 searches based on probable cause 

(59 White, 27 Hispanic/Latino, 15 African-American). Search-incident-to-arrest, the number came out to 27. Twenty-one of those were White, three Hispanic/Latino and three African-American.”

Richburg noted there has been a change in the marijuana laws, noting there were more citations related to paraphernalia over an arrest.

“The number of searches where contraband was found as related to the number of arrests made were much due in part to the way marijuana laws have changed,” Richburg said. 

“A lot of that is drug paraphernalia was found with citations issued. Also on misdemeanor marijuana cases where subjects are issued citations for paraphernalia as opposed to being arrested for possession of marijuana.”

Richburg noted there was zero reports of bodily injury as a result of physical force during an arrest and there were zero complaints as a result of racial profiling.

There were 682 arrests in 2020, down from 999 in 2019. He also said traffic collisions were down in 2020.

“I’m proud of that and the community of Pampa for driving slower and safer,” Richburg said. “But I’m also proud of the officers for being out there and working traffic, staying safer and staying alert. We are almost 100 below the 10-year average and down 15 from last year.”

Richburg also praised dispatch supervisor Debbie McDonald and county/city leaders for the smooth transition for the combined dispatch.

The Commissioners also approve to go for a grant through the Panhandle Regional Planning Commission and the inter-local agreement with PRPC for grant management services. This grant is similar to last year’s grant with Texas Capital Fund for downtown revitalization through Housing of Urban Development (HUD).

Paige Whitthar of the PRPC said that while Pampa scored really well last year, it was a really competitive year and the City just missed the cut.

“This year, the cycle is starting earlier and we are going through the process again,” Whitthar said. “There is no cost to the City of Pampa to go through the process again.”

The application is due May 3 and the City will know within a few months if they will be funded for the project again.

The Commissioners also approved for the City to work on a grant for a water-line project with the Texas Department of Agriculture and the Texas Community Development Block Grant Project that extends east of Hobart and north of Alcock. 

“This amendment is for an application that was submitted early in 2019,” Whitthar said. “City of Pampa was in the second year of funding and that application is a bi-annual one.”

The project is starting up and allows for PRPC to offer grant management services on the project. Several items on the agenda are related to this grant project.

The final item approved was an ordinance by the City Commission providing for a school zone on Farm-to-Market Road 750.

“In the fall of last year the State (of Texas) was contacted by a concerned citizen about putting a school zone on FM 750,” Director of Public Works Gary Turley said. 

“It was sent up the command and they did a survey. Based on the survey it was recommended they put a school zone to Sumner on McCullough Street. This will put it from 45 mph to 30 mph.”

The Texas Department of Transportation will handle posting the signs and it will go into effect after signs are up.

Mayor Brad Pingel spoke in favor of the item and the item passed unanimously.

The Commissioners approved the following items:

• Approving the minutes of the January 25, 2021 Regular Commission Meeting as presented.

• Absence of Commissioner Karen McLain from the Jan. 25, 2021 Regular Commission Meeting.

• Adopting Resolution No. R21-004, a Resolution by the City Commission adopting Executive Order GA-32 and extending to March 8, 2021 the City of Pampa’s Declaration of Local Disaster. Commissioner Gary Winton thanked the hospital staff at Pampa Regional Medical Center for their hard work during the pandemic.

• Two-year Animal Service Agreement with the following cities: Clarendon, Groom, Lefors, McLean, Miami and Skellytown.

•An Election Order calling the City of Pampa’s May 1, 2021 Election. This Election will be a General Election for the offices of Mayor, Commissioner Ward 1 and Commissioner Ward 3; and a Special Election for the offices of Commissioner Ward 2 and Commissioner Ward 4.

• Accepting a bid from Stephen Thomas Rodda in the amount of $300 for delinquent tax property located at Lot 11, Block A, Talley Reserve Addition, commonly known as 512 Naida.

• Adopting Resolution No. R21-006, a Resolution by the City Commission designating the Mayor and City Manager to act as designated signatories in order to execute contractual documents between the Texas Department of Agriculture and the City of Pampa for the 2020 Texas Community Development Block Grant Program. This item is related to the water-line project.

• Act on adopting the following for the purposes of Texas Community Development Program Grant: *Appoint the City Secretary as the City of Pampa’s Civil Rights Officer *Appoint a Labor Standards Officer (PPRC’s Paige Whitthar).

• Adopting Resolution No. R21-007, a Resolution by the City Commission regarding Civil Rights and the adoption of the following policies. 1. Citizen Participation Plan and Grievance Procedures 2. Section 3 Policy 3. Excessive Force Policy 4. Section 504 Policy and Grievance Procedures 5. Code of Conduct 6. Limited English Proficiency 7. Fair Housing Policy

• Adopting a Proclamation designating March 2021 as Fair Housing Month in the City of Pampa.

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