The City of Pampa Commissioners met on Monday afternoon for a regularly-scheduled meeting.
During the meeting, the Commissioners received a presentation from Pampa Police Chief Lance Richburg, who gave the Department’s annual report.
Richburg started with the racial profiling report.
“Total traffic stops was 3,752,” Richburg said. “Of those, 2,629 were white, 184 African-American, 919 were Hispanic/Latino, 16 Asian/Pacific Islander; as you look through those, percentage wise they hold true.”
In 96 percent of the stops, there was not a search conducted. Of the searches conducted,
“That’s probably where racial profiling has it’s biggest impact,” Richburg said. “Several years ago, law enforcement’s stops were okay in terms of racial breakdown. The problem they were seeing, in searches being conducted, their numbers were not where they should have been. Doing a racial profiling report and looking at that data has enhanced their service to their community.”
Sixty percent of the searches were white, 33 percent were Hispanic/Latino and 11 percent were African-American.
Pampa Police Department had 16,107 calls for service in 2021, up from 15,724 from 2020, which Richburg attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Richburg noted there were five criminal homicides in Pampa in 2021.
“Two of those involve a motor-vehicle accident where criminal homicide charges will be filed,” Richburg said. “One of those was an accidental shooting involving family members. Two were domestic-related. We never want to see those numbers. We don’t like those numbers. We hope those numbers look drastically different next year.”
Overall, criminal offenses were down 227 from 2020, putting Pampa at a 10-year low.
“We are not going to take credit for that number,” Richburg said. “That’s our schools, our churches, our civic clubs and our community working together to make this the pride of those who live here and the envy of those who don’t.”
Earlier in the meeting, Public Works Director Gary Turley and Code Enforcement Officer Kirk Reed presented the Commissioners with a new program aimed to help assess the clean-up needs in Pampa.
“In 2020 I was talking with Bob Griffin (Pampa Fire Department) and Kirk (Reed) about doing a survey of the whole city,” Turley said. “Kirk started this survey in 2021 and went ward by ward, house by house. He’s looking for certain things in a drive-by survey, collected all that information and broke it down by wards. We want to get a baseline of violations that people may not be aware of. It could be as simple as if your house is properly numbered.”
Reed took the podium and showed the information to the Commissioners and said the goal is to get the numbers of violations down by the start of 2023.
“This is a good tool to use and be able to gauge our effectiveness in dealing with the public,” Reed said. “Some of these are the most common violations, the most important one is the properly-numbered homes. The reason being is if our first-responders go out in night time, it’s hard to see the addresses. Sometimes they can fly right by the address and not see it. We see that as one of our biggest issues.”
The survey map also had a rating systems for homes, as well. The scale went from 1 to 5, with 5 being the best.
“The best way to put it is some homes are beautiful,” Reed said. “Some homes may have a fallen gutter or a window on a garage door that’s broken and at the time is just covered by a board. We have some homes completely taken care of, almost there or just neglected.”
Reed said the next step is just to work with the public and try to get these violations taken care of in the most neighborly way possible.
There were two public comments concerning a dilapidated and unlivable home on Banks Street where they allege a woman is doing drugs, stealing water/electricity and defecating in a toilet in the front yard.
The Commissioners also approved the following items:
• Ordinance No.1762, an Ordinance by the City Commission of the City of Pampa, Texas authorizing the issuance of “City of Pampa, Texas General Obligation Refunding Bonds, Series 2022”, levying an annual ad valorem tax within the limitations prescribed by law, for the payment of the bonds; authorizing the execution of any necessary engagement agreement with the City’s Financial Advisor; and providing an effective date. These bonds are from the 2012 election for the Animal Shelter. These will result in a savings of $110,000.
• Resolution of the City Commission continuing Executive Order GA-34 and extending it to Feb. 14, 2022.
• List of Disbursements dated Dec. 2021.
• Awarding a bid to Sandra L. Martinez in the amount of $1,500 for delinquent tax property located at Lot 12, Block 3, Prairie Village Addition, commonly known as 1041 Varnon.
After executive session: the Commissioners approved the following:
The following people will serve on the Downtown TIRZ #1 Board of Directors and named Kim Hill as the Chairperson for the Board. The next step will be the Board’s first meeting to establish a set of bylaws, elect the other officers, and begin working on finalizing the Project and Financing Plan for the zone to present to the City Commission:
Kim Hill (Chair)
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