Dear Ms. Beverly Carter,
I recently saw the article about Missouri City on Fox news about how great a place it is to live and how well the police department has done at fighting crime. I wanted to expand on this with a more local news outlet.
A few this that have occurred and perhaps covered from public knowledge, I think need to be let known. While I agree with Fox’s article about Missouri City being a great place to live, it concerns me as to what may be occurring at the police department. In the less than three (3) years Chief Fitzgerald has been with Missouri City, twice now he has been front runner for another city’s police chief. Missouri City continues to send Chief Fitzgerald to schools and certification training that only promotes his search for a Chief of Police at a different department.
While Chief Fitzgerald is off training, spending time in schools or applying and interviewing for other agencies, Missouri City Police Department suffers from the lack of leadership. I have talked to a few police officers over a period of time and feels this is a concern that citizens of Missouri City needs to be aware of.
I choose not to speak of what police officers have mentioned, as I do not wish for those officers to take a hit for what they feel to be casual conversation with citizens. Perhaps the leadership that goes on while Chief Fitzgerald is not available is sufficient. However, I have argue that if the Chief appears to be unengaged in the department of which he heads, why then would officers feel the need to be fully engaged in the work they do. And why would supervisors be compelled to demonstrate leadership if or when the have are shown as a supervisor they can do as they please and treat the people under them however they want.
Another concern I believe citizens need to be aware of is the annual raise police officers have failed to receive over the past few years. The small raise officers received last year is a disgrace to the (about) $10,000 raise Captain Merrit received just a year after she started with the department. Captain Merrit was hired din shortly after Chief Fitzgerald and since has been repositioned to a Lieutenant for reasons I believe to be hidden from the public.
It has also come to my attention that raises, when given, are based off the previous evaluation that officer received. Evaluations which should be based on performance, are often skewed by personal bias or conflict between officer and supervisor. Thus, you have officers who are doing as good of a job as the next, but due to lack of leadership by a supervisor or a conflict, they receive less of a raise based on a lower evaluation score. It should make one wonder why moral may not be as high as it could be. I, as a citizen, should be concerned that if I come in contact with an officer whom was given less of a raise, is less work going to be done by that officer because they feel less of an officer by that less of a raise.
On the outside, yes Missouri City Police Department appears to be doing a great job making this city a wonderful and safe place to live. Or is it, do we know if the numbers Fox News reported are accurate, or just an appearance of what the public needs to know or believe. And yes, Missouri City Police Department has implemented new programs that have deterred crime. but perhaps the one program needing to be implemented is for officers to receive the same respect by supervisors that citizens receive from any uniformed officer in this city.
I write this letter to you in hopes that if you had not been aware of any of this, you will be now and shall choose to share it with your readers. Concerned citizens should be aware of the issues our chosen leaders have fostered. While it may not seem like a major concern to some within the city, I as a citizen feel it has become difficult believing in Chief Fitzgerald or anything he strives for the city’s police department. The officers of our city deserve to be treated with respect, by the people they work with in their department. Officers, of any rank, deserve a raise that is not simply equal to their performance, but an equal raise to all and a bonus to those that over perform.
Chief Fitzgerald has made it obvious that Missouri City is not his home. In fact, Missouri City is merely a stepping stone for his personal career; and how nice it must be for him that Missouri City continues to pay for his career advancement.
Thanks for your time in listening to my concerns. I would hope that you would take time to look into this information and share it with your readers of the Fort Bend Star. Perhaps the citizens can be publicly notified of some of these concerns.
Thanks for listening to a Concerned Citizen of the City