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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

City Council votes on approving a meet and confer agreement with SMPD

A+file+photo+of+the+San+Marcos+City+Council+meeting+chamber.

A file photo of the San Marcos City Council meeting chamber.

At its May 16 meeting, San Marcos City Council voted on a new police contract agreement to be made for San Marcos Police Department (SMPD).
The former agreement was repealed by local activist group Mano Amiga.
Mano Amiga is pushing to end vacation forfeiture as a substitute to suspension, make documented misconduct more transparent so that there is little room for error, end delays for officers under investigation before formal interviews take place and implement a civil service commission instead of a third-party arbitration.
In the new agreement reforms voted on include taking documentation of misconduct into account during the promotion process, doubling the timeframe to investigate and discipline an officer for wrongdoing to 360 days and limiting the role of the arbitrator.
Former Councilmember Maxfield Baker raised concerns on whether the council is taking San Marcos citizens into account on this matter.
“Instead of simply using your expert level understanding of the criminal legal system to keep solutions from the public. It would serve our community better to work to help them understand the issues where the accounting ability sits,” Baker said. “If we can all agree on that work to change those things at the higher levels of government.”
Some citizens did support the updated agreement.
“We need to support our police officers and ensure that San Marcos is a safe place to live as well as a safe place to attend college,” Barbara Smithson, a citizen of San Marcos said.
During the discussion of 2023-96r, questions and concerns were expressed by councilmembers.
“We all love our community, and we’re willing to get our hands dirty and get uncomfortable if it means showing up for each other. So that’s why I fundamentally cannot support the renegotiated contract,” Alyssa Garza, councilmember, said. 
Councilmember Jude Prather said why he is in support of this agreement. 
“This contract helps provide our police department the ability to recruit, train and keep the best type of police officers you want to keep your community safe,” Prather said. “…The best way I can describe this is measured progress with criminal justice reform. You’re not going to change things overnight.”
The council approved resolutions 2023-96r, resulting in the new agreement with SMPD to be effective on June 8 and last until September 2026.
The vote to approve this agreement passed 6-1. 
The San Marcos City Council meets at 6 p.m. every first and third Tuesday of each month. For more information, visit the City Council website.

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