Finding good law-enforcement officers and retaining those officers is tough for many cities. Navasota City Manager Brad Stafford discusses how the city attracts officers to the area.
Stafford also addresses cemetery questions and more as Navasota Examiner Publisher Ana Cosino and Willy 98.7 Radio Personality ask Stafford community submitted questions.
Highlights from Grilling Stafford – episode 50.
When are they going to fix the truck route by the cemetery? There hasn’t been any work done on it in 12 years. “Right now, I don’t have a time-frame on the truck route. We rebuilt that about 12-years ago. It does need to be rebuilt. We are still working on capital improvement plans. It won’t come up in this fi rst round that we are working on but hopefully it will in the second-round. I know we need to work on it because it is rough.”
Can the city get with the railroad to improve all the crossings around town? “The one on Washington Avenue is really rough Generally we turn that stuff into them [railroad] and TxDot. You know there is always the question of who is responsible, but fortunately most of those repairs are on the state. We do have some in the city and they are very rough. We can sure ask and fi nd out.”
Will Navasota be participating in First Responders’ Day? “Yes, we have that coming up May 15. The police department and fi re department will be talking about that at our next city council meeting making sure folks are aware and hopefully come in. There will be a little bit of change from previous years. You know last year COVID canceled it, but it is back.”
How long do you need to wait before a headstone can be placed on a new grave? “However long it takes to order it and get it in. It usually takes some time. Some people put it in before death. They go ahead and buy their lot and put it in early, so they know they have it. We don’t have a time-frame.”
Who is responsible for releveling headstones? “Generally, the city will do that, but taking care of those headstones is actually the responsibility of the family. A lot of times we do relevel them for safety reasons. There is a lot of talk about what you do when you can’t contact a family member because that cemetery is extremely old and there is no way to contact some of those families any longer. We don’t know anybody that is connected. There has been some talk about what we do to clean some of those headstones, repair some of them. All of that is expensive and takes a lot of money. So, we are still trying to fi gure out what to do and what is the best method to go about doing that.”
With growth in the city comes a potential increase in crime. What will the city do to attract police officers to Navasota? And how will you ensure wages are competitive with neighboring departments to maintain officer retention? “I don’t know who asked this question, but you know right now policing is a tough job. I heard a lot of reports from other cities and they have a hard time attracting police officers back into that profession. We do this all the time. We try to make sure we are competitive with the area. It is very difficult. We are a much smaller tax-base and much smaller city when it comes to competing with Conroe, Houston, College Station and Bryan. But we provide a really great atmosphere as well as some good benefi ts for those individuals. We’re always trying to fi gure out the best way to not only attract offi cers but other city staff as well.”
To view the full video of Grilling Stafford – Episode 51, or to watch archived episodes, visit The Examiner website, www.navasotaexaminer.com. If you would like to submit a question for Grilling Stafford, email firstname.lastname@example.org. New episodes of Grilling Stafford are released every Thursday.