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Northeast Police Department Ends

Northeast Police Department Ends
Northeast Police Department Sgt. Jeff Pruett, right, and Officer Michael Draut listen during the public comment portion of the joint meeting of the Cross Roads and Krugerville councils in April.

By Abigail Allen

Managing Editor

The Northeast Police Department, which started on Oct. 1, 2013, will no longer serve the residents of Cross Roads and Krugerville.

After the relationship between Cross Roads and Krugerville affected the ability of the two councils to negotiate to save the eight-year-old department, Friday turned into the department’s expiration date.

This timeline is, with the exception of a vote by the Little Elm Town Council, based on the reporting included in the Post-Signal since 2019, covering Cross Roads, Krugerville, Aubrey, the Northeast Police Department and the Aubrey Fire Department.

December 2019

Cross Roads resident Randy Wallace submits a letter to the sitting Cross Roads Town Council, saying Cross Roads is paying too much for its police protection through the Northeast Police Department and not putting enough resources into its fire and EMS coverage.

January 2020

Chairman Michael Starr, who is also the fire chief for both Southlake and Aubrey’s fire departments, resigns from the NEPD Commission because of his move from Krugerville to Cross Roads. Commissioner and Krugerville Mayor Jeff Parrent is named chairman.

Krugerville approves an updated interlocal agreement with Cross Roads for the NEPD, and Jody Gonzalez is appointed to the board.

February 2020

T. Lynn Tompkins Jr. submits his application to run for mayor of Cross Roads, running against incumbent Bob Gorton. Greg Gaalema is one of six candidates for two at-large council seats.

Northeast Police Department Ends

March 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic causes closures in Texas, delays the May election to November and leads many entities to shift their public meetings from in-person to online-only formats. Cross Roads moves to Zoom; Krugerville opts to limit number of meetings where possible.

Tompkins and Gaalema speak to the council, opposing the delay in the election and asking the council to slash the town’s budget in case the pandemic cripples the town’s finances.

April 2020

Gaalema, Tompkins and additional Cross Roads residents call for drastic budget cuts again, including Laurel Wallace who questions the cost to the town for the NEPD.

Gaalema specifically asks the council to cut the NEPD budget because of the pandemic and calls for Gorton to resign from the commission.

May 2020

Cross Roads council candidate Jennifer Henry questions the pursuit of a furlough program for the town staff, and Gorton shares revenue reports showing the amount exceeded what was projected.

The NEPD Commission cuts the budget by a little over 10% without furloughing anyone, and three Cross Roads residents speak at the meeting to oppose budget cuts and support the department.

July 2020

The commission votes to hold the budget static for the upcoming fiscal year.

Northeast Police Department Ends

September 2020

Krugerville requests Cross Roads to consider a different site north of U.S. 380 for the new NEPD station.

Mayors Parrent and Gorton sign an agreement regarding a public safety building for the NEPD.

October 2020

Randy Wallace sends out emails and letters, in which he supports candidates Tompkins, Gaalema and Eddie Army as well as questions why Gorton is asking the council to extend the NEPD contract to 2025. The same day the message about the ILA comes out, Tompkins says during the Town Council meeting that he thinks approving such a long contract could be illegal.

November 2020

Tompkins, Gaalema and incumbent Bobby Phillips win their Cross Roads seats.

Rodney Cagle joins the Krugerville City Council to succeed Thurman Bridges.

December 2020

Tompkins places Town Administrator Becky Ross on paid administrative leave following his first full council meeting in office without public action taken by the council; Ross submits her resignation.

January 2021

Kristi Gilbert, the sole candidate discussed publicly, is selected as the interim town administrator for Cross Roads. The Cross Roads council also approves a separation agreement for Ross.

Krugerville City Council works on code enforcement with resident input.

The Cross Roads council establishes a Public Safety Advisory Board to look at police, fire and EMS services.

Tompkins joins the Northeast Police Department Commission as one of Cross Roads’ four representatives.

Northeast Police Department Ends

February 2021

Krugerville offers a temporary station for the NEPD, citing delays in getting the proposed NEPD station constructed in Cross Roads.

The Public Safety Advisory Committee discusses ambulance services.

March 2021

Krugerville initiates Certificates of Obligation process to borrow up to $1.5 million for the construction of the building inside the city that could house the NEPD.

The PSAB gets a quote from the Little Elm Fire Department for services and only allows Gilbert to speak during the meeting outside of the full members of the board, leaving an alternate member as well as representatives of the Aubrey Fire Department with their hand raised in the virtual meeting.

Krugerville Mayor Jeff Parrent contacts Cross Roads Mayor T. Lynn Tompkins to meet before the regular Krugerville City Council meeting on March 25. Tompkins, who is out-of-town then, asks over email to postpone the meeting, denies Parrent’s request that then-Mayor Pro Tem Bobby Phillips meet to represent Cross Roads and questions Parrent’s actions.

Krugerville’s council meets and decides to terminate the interlocal agreement that allows the Northeast Police Department to function. Tompkins as well as residents from both municipalities attend and speak their mind about the situation.

April 2021

Cross Roads dissolves the PSAB, with council member Wendy White-Stevens citing the actions of the chairman. Residents split on their opinions about the police department situation. Tompkins also presents a pros and cons list for continuing the NEPD or starting a new department.

Members of multiple law enforcement agencies, coordinated by the NEPD with the help of the Aubrey Fire Department, stand together on the overpass at the intersection of U.S. 377 and U.S. 380 in honor of State Trooper Chad Walker, who was killed on duty.

On April 8, the two councils hold a joint public meeting in Providence Village to discuss the possibility of finding a way to keep the NEPD in place.

April 12, Krugerville sends its new proposed version of the ILA to Cross Roads.

On April 16, Tompkins signs a consulting contract with Max Westbrook Consulting regarding the first Cross Roads Police Department.

April 19, the council takes no action to accept the contract presented by Krugerville at Tompkins’ request, and Tompkins says negotiations will continue.

On April 22, the Krugerville council receives edits from Tompkins.

April 23, Krugerville hears that the version it received differs from the redline copy the council members saw from the attorney.

On April 26, Krugerville receives the copy from a Cross Roads council member during the city’s special called council meeting. Krugerville votes to halt negotiations and begin the winddown of the NEPD.

May 2021

Cross Roads cancels its first hybrid council meeting, citing technology issues.

Ron King joins the Town Council to fill the seat vacated by Duke Roberson.

The town opens the posting for the CRPD chief and speaks with the NEPD officers about transferring to Cross Roads. Krugerville determines details for the revival of the KVPD, to be led again by NEPD Chief James Edland, including the location and designs for the cars, patches and badges.

Three new NEPD commissioners from Cross Roads—Gaalema, Diane Bartek and Steve Zuczek—are appointed by the council and Tompkins becomes commission chairman.

Residents from Cross Roads and Krugerville raise First Amendment concerns relating to open meetings held in Cross Roads.

June 2021

Cross Roads works on renovating Town Hall to house CRPD and moves town offices to a building along U.S. 380.

NEPD commissioners vote on dissolution steps.

Cross Roads names finalists for chief position.

July 2021

Brian Windham is selected as the first finalist for the CRPD chief position, but the offer is rescinded soon after, and the town extends it to Shaun Short instead.

Krugerville again turns focus on code enforcement.

Cross Roads fires its Finance Director Susan Zambrano.

August 2021

Cross Roads indicates shift toward Little Elm for fire services, and Aubrey Mayor Chris Rich and Starr speak to the council about what Aubrey can offer.

Krugerville adds spot for fifth KVPD officer.

Cross Roads council votes to switch to LEFD.

NEPD Commission meets again to cut spending by Edland and the officers, approves in a 3-2 vote along city lines a $5,000 audit of the NEPD for the last few years and asks Krugerville to extend an ILA for winding down the department.

September 2021

The Little Elm Town Council approves the ILA to provide Cross Roads with fire and EMS coverage on Sept. 7, according to the video of the meeting.

Krugerville puts finishing touches on its new police station across the street from the NEPD building and swears in judges for the Krugerville Municipal Court.

Negotiations stall on a wind-down extension for the NEPD ILA.

The Cross Roads and Krugerville councils approve their individual budgets that include the separate departments.

Jax retires as an NEPD K9 officer but remains with his handler Nate Johnson.

The final day of the month and of the fiscal year also serves as the final day the Northeast Police Department exists.


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