Great Turnout for the City’s Meet the Chief, Aug. 18
A relatively large crowd of residents showed up for the first Meet the Chief event hosted by the City of Olney Aug. 18 at the Olney Civic Center. The City’s goal was to allow the new police chief, Dan Birbeck, to introduce himself to the community.
Chief Birbeck stood at the door and greeted guests as they arrived. After several informal introductions, he took center stage with a formal introduction of himself. He also revealed the new mission of the Olney Police Department, along with a snapshot of his vision for Olney.
Birbeck solidified his credentials, stating that he has been in law enforcement since 1992, coupled with ownership of security companies; he has more than 22 years of sworn law enforcement experience. Birbeck holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, and in 12 weeks, he will earn a master’s degree in Business Administration. Also, he holds a Master Texas Peace Officer license—the highest level in Texas. Bringing extensive experience with narcotics to his position, Birbeck plans to clean up Olney.
Before joining the Olney Police Department, Birbeck served as a sergeant in charge of the patrol division for Young County Sheriff ’s office. As the new police chief, Birbeck stated his priority is to improve Olney residents’ quality of life.
“My leadership philosophy is to lead by example from answering calls to dealing with anything that comes up. I’ll be standing next to them working. So what you have is a working chief,” Birbeck said. “My plan is to be out there on the streets doing what I need to do.”
Birbeck assured the residents that integrity is essential to him, and he will hold the officers accountable. Then stating his first objective was to have a meeting with the officers. During that four-hour meeting, he and the officers developed a mission statement for the department. The mission of the Olney Police Department is “service before self.” Birbeck continued with the department’s vision statement: “We will serve as guardians of our community, focused on protecting people and property by enforcing the laws of the land impartially and justly while understanding that it is not always the letter of the law, but the spirit of the law.” He concluded with the department’s intent to work collaboratively with the community.
Before closing, Birbeck commented on the drug problem and the crime related to Olney’s drugs, which seemed to be something attendees wanted him to address. After acknowledging that the department is acutely aware of Olney’s drug-related crime, he said, “As a mall agency, it is extremely difficult to tackle unless you have partnerships outside of your agency.” He continued, “Educating the community is an important part of what we do so you can understand how it works. For the police department to address the root cause of the crime in Olney, we must have a plan in place with our partners, including DPS Narcotics, the sheriff ’s office, and many other resources in place.” He said they reached out to him, vowing support to solve the crime in Olney.
The Olney Police Department’s Facebook page is in progress, and it will be used as a platform to keep the community informed about everything that occurs. Stay on alert for the launch of the Facebook page. Also, you may view the full meeting on the City of Olney’s website page: www. Olney.Tx.CityGovt.org.