by A.C. Hall
On Monday afternoon the oath of office was given to long time White Settlement Police Department officer J.P. Bevering as he becomes the newest Chief of Police of the department. Bevering has served as an officer in the WSPD for over two decades and will now serve as the department’s leader. Many of the high ranking WSPD officers were interviewed for the Police Chief position and Bevering said he felt many different emotions when he learned he’d been chosen as the new chief.
“Every Command staff officer that applied for this position has assets and skills that would serve this position well. Each of them are a value to this City and the Police Department,” Bevering told The Grizzly Detail. “I was proud to believe that the City felt that I have the qualifications and abilities to lead this Department for many years.”
Before Bevering took his oath of office, a brief City Council meeting was held. According to a city ordinance, the City Manager chooses a candidate for the Police Chief position but that choice must be confirmed by the council. Council members Mike Arnold and Danny Anderson were not present at the meeting, but the three that were there quickly voted unanimously to approve Bevering as the new Chief of Police.
Speaking with The Grizzly Detail over the weekend, Bevering shared his thoughts on the state of the WSPD.
“For the first time in several years, the Police Department has been fully staffed with no vacancies. That tells me that the employees of the Department are happy; they want to be here and we provide them the tools and abilities to do their job well. I cannot be more impressed with our Police Department. They are an excellent group of men and women, and I am proud to be allowed to lead them as their new Chief,” Bevering said.
The new Chief also shared his thoughts on the City of White Settlement, saying he’s seen a lot of changes over his 22 years as an officer here.
“Of course I have seen the bad, but there has been a lot of good and I only expect the City and the Police Department to excel in the coming years. I believe the City is on the brink of so many positive things to come in the next few years that we will be extremely happy to see,” Bevering said.
Before the oath of office was given to Bevering, Mayor Ronald A. White said a few words about the new Chief.
“It’s always been a pleasure to deal with J.P.,” Mayor White said. “I support him one hundred percent.”
Council members Steve Ott, Elzie Clements, and Paul Moore mirrored the mayor’s comments, welcoming Bevering and telling him they support him. Bevering’s father and two sons participated in his oath of office ceremony. The new chief shared a few brief comments following the ceremony as he addressed the room filled with city staff and WSPD officers.
“I couldn’t ask for a better group of friends and colleagues to work with,” Bevering said.
As he steps into his new role, Bevering told The Grizzly Detail that one thing he wants to work on right away is enhancing communication and interaction with the public through the use of social media and community outreach. Bevering said the department’s Facebook page and website are ways this communication and interaction can happen.
“I want to enhance those to serve the public and provide more information to the community through those and through the newspaper,” Bevering said.
Bevering also mentioned the WSPD’s use of Nixle, a service that provides relevant information to residents from local government agencies. The service can also allow the community to provide crime tips to the WSPD. Interested citizens can sign up with Nixle by going to Nixle.com or by texting FollowWSPD to 888777 to get text alerts from WSPD. There is no charge for the service but message and data rates may apply.