Buda Police adopts new policies and procedures, seeking state accreditation for best practices

Hays

BUDA, Texas (KXAN) — The Buda Police Department has a new set of policies and procedures for the first time in nearly 11 years. 

Police Chief Bo Kidd said they’ve rewritten their entire handbook, that’s now more than 400 pages.

This is just one step in the process of being recognized by the State of Texas as a best-practice agency. Kidd feels this is going to be critical for the community.

KXAN’s Hays County reporter Jala Washington went on a ride-along with Sgt. Erika Simmons of the Buda Police Department. She shed light on officers efforts to be a part of the community.

“We just make our presence known and be friendly and smile,” Simmons said.

From an administrative stand-point, Kidd said he’s worked for nearly three years to improve the department’s procedures to gain the accreditation recognition.

“Basically, there are best practices recommendations,” Kidd said. “We have to implement the policy, and then, on that site visit, they’ll do ride-alongs to ensure we’re complying with all of those policies.”

There are 166 practices on the list that are required for a department to be an accredited agency in the eyes of the state, including a written system of agency directives on how to deal with internal investigations, sexual and other unlawful harassment and use of force training.

Kidd said earning the accreditation is a personal goal he wants to reach.

“When I see some of the things going around the country, the common thread is there’s a disconnect between the police and the community they serve,” Kidd said.

He wants to make, what he calls an already good relationship with the community they serve, better.

According to Kidd, it is now a requirement for all police departments nationwide to get accredited by their state’s agency. And he said they’ll be the first to do so in Hays County.

Once the status is received, which Kidd hopes comes by the end of the year, the police department will still be audited every four years.

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