Cory Tchida has been Georgetown’s Chief of Police—officially—for a month but has been in the boss’ chair for more than a year. “It’s been a year filled with incredible challenges,” he says. “But, my focus has been on maintaining the level of service Georgetown has come to expect. Everyone pulled together and it was, as it has been, our line-level employees who shouldered the burden, and they do it well.” He adds being in the fastest growing city in the nation brings additional pressure so he is always looking and soliciting for ways to do more with the resources the department already has, including leveraging technology where he can.
THE BEST OF THE BEST
Chief Tchida says maintaining the high standards of hiring, recruiting, and retention in the current market is as challenging for a first responder agency as it is everywhere else. “We are still in a COVID environment and we are also not seeing a high turnout for available jobs. This is especially difficult because it takes 13 months to train up a fully operational officer. However, the city has given us funds to overhire, which enables me to hire a recruit to replace a current employee before he or she leaves. That overlap puts us ahead of the curve and able to meet the needs of the community.”
The Chief says one goal is to ‘sell the just cause’ to recruits. While many say they want to help people, he asks why they choose law enforcement to do it. He says, “It’s not about the high speed adrenaline they show in the academy ads. This job is about what happens on a daily basis and I look for life experiences I can build on to make this a good choice for them.”
Chief Tchida continues to drive the CommUnity initiative all over Georgetown. “We take every opportunity to engage with microcommunities; HOAs, businesses, youth, faith groups, and others. The point of that outreach is the value it adds to our work by allowing us to look at ourselves through others’ lens. A recent brainstorming session led us to up our social media presence—look beyond Facebook to platforms that are popular in other demographics.”
He is also strengthening relationships through mandatory Arbinger training. “Research shows most opinions about law enforcement come from personal experience. I tell my officers they are the ones deciding how people feel about us. I tell them, ‘If a person’s car is broken into, it might be the 20th time you’ve written one up, but it’s a major life event for the victim. You need to make it a big deal for you too—not talk on the radio or look at your watch.’ We’re affirming the mindset that the citizen is their purpose and not an obstacle to getting back to the street for something more interesting.’ ”
While Georgetown is still an extremely safe place, he asks citizens to remember Sir Robert Peal’s admonition that the police are the public and the public are the police. “One of our biggest problems is unlocked cars and homes. We have organized crews of juveniles who generally only break in if they see a return on their time investment so we ask people to start simple—lock cars and homes and don’t leave things in plain sight. There will be more on this in our Lock It Down program, which is coming soon.”
His other priority is scams being perpetrated on vulnerable populations. He says, “While our victims are local, the scammers are nearly always overseas. We are constantly working to educate the public and related businesses to be on the lookout for how scammers operate because, unfortunately, once the money is gone, there’s nothing we can do. In short, if it doesn’t seem normal, call us (512-930-3510) and we will help you assess your risk before you become a victim.”
Click the link to keep up with the “Tchief”.