The hiring incentive takes effect July 1, 2022, as an effort to attract qualified, full-time police officers. The program only applies to Texas (TCOLE) licensed peace officers with two years of experience at another Texas law enforcement agency.
Candidates may be allowed to enter the City’s STEP pay schedule at a level of up to six years of experience, putting the salary range between $67,828-$78,519, in addition to the $10,000 bonus and extra incentive pay for higher-level TCOLE certificates.
The $10,000 hiring bonus is aimed to recruit the most qualified candidates. Grapevine Police also boasts one of the best benefits packages in north Texas, with low-cost health insurance, family and peer support, and wellness programs for employees and their families.
The new Police Officer hiring process is open. The Department website includes a list of qualifications for hire and more on City benefits. Anyone wanting to apply can go to GrapevinePD.org and click on “Apply for a Job” for additional details.
Shortly after 5:15 p.m. on Friday, June 24, 2022, Grapevine dispatchers received calls about a crash in the northbound lanes of S. SH-121 near Mustang Drive. A Honda Civic left the roadway on the left side and struck an overpass pillar.
The driver was the sole occupant in the car and was already deceased when first responders arrived.
Officers are still investigating what led the driver to veer off the roadway, but witnesses said the car was not speeding at the time of the crash.
The Tarrant County Medical Examiner will release the driver’s name pending notification to next of kin. One lane of northbound SH-121 will remain closed until the crash scene is cleared.
Grapevine 9-1-1 dispatchers are now among the highest paid in all of North Texas. A new 21.5% pay increase just took effect for current employees and new hires, along with a new job title.
The higher pay is part of a new hiring strategy to combat severe staffing shortages and recruit the most qualified candidates. The 9-1-1 industry nationwide has seen a significant drop in applications since the start of the pandemic. Grapevine Police announced a hiring bonus last year to draw in more applicants, but with local agencies raising their pay, the Department needed to do even more to remain competitive.
The 21.5% pay increase puts starting salaries at $52,208 – $73,091 a year based on experience. Benefits for City of Grapevine employees are also among with best in the region, making employment even more attractive to families and parents.
Grapevine Police also reclassified the job title from Telecommunicators to Emergency Communications Specialists. The new title is designed to better define the employees’ job descriptions and industry standards. Emergency Communications Specialists, also nicknamed Dispatchers, are designated as first responders in the state of Texas. They are trained in life-saving techniques and can provide medical aid as needed over the phone until police, fire or paramedics can arrive on the scene.
Emergency Communications Manager Kellie Hayney says both changes highlight the importance of dispatchers and the role they play in public safety. “Emergency Communications Specialists are the true first responders. When every second counts during an emergency, their skills with a caller can be the reason a life is saved. We are grateful to the City and Department for recognizing their importance, and the need to attract the best candidates to serve our community.”
The current Emergency Communications Specialist hiring process closes on June 10. Anyone wanting to apply can go to GrapevinePD.org and click on “Apply for a Job” to learn more.
The State of Texas Crisis Intervention Team Association (Texas CIT) named Grapevine Police Detective Christina O’Rear the 2022 Mental Health Peace Officer of the Year. The award was announced during the association’s annual convention in South Padre Island on Friday, April 29, 2022.
Detective Christina O’Rear is the primary liaison between the Grapevine Police Department and MHMR resources and hospitals in north Texas. In recent years, she recognized a need to stay in contact with individuals and families dealing with mental crises after police cases were done, and initiated audits of her department’s police reports to ensure any MHMR-related calls were coded with MHMR. Detective O’Rear then confirmed follow-ups were made on each case.
Detective O’Rear was personally selected by Congresswoman Beth Van Duyne to serve on the Law Enforcement Advisory Board, which consists of various police chiefs and four officers statewide. O’Rear serves on the Steering Committee for the Law Enforcement Mental Health Alliance of North Texas, where she helps get resources and training to first responders. She is also a member of the Tarrant County Law Enforcement Mental Health Stakeholder Committee, where she works to improve mental health services for citizens and officers.
May is nationally recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month, which aims to bring awareness to the issue and also remind people in crisis that there are agencies and experts ready and willing to help them. The Grapevine Police Department is extremely proud of the continued work done by Detective Christina O’Rear to help individuals and families and appreciates the recognition by Texas CIT.
Grapevine Animal Services held an Open House on April 23 to celebrate their first year of business in their new digs, located at 500 Shady Brook Lane. This building is about three times the size of the original, which did not have the space and modern services that are required more often in this day and age.
The Open House featured shelter tours, a coloring contest, crafts for animals (paw prints), giveaways, adoption specials, face painting, a microchip clinic, raffles, Wise Guys Pizza, the Grapevine Mobile Library, music, police and fire vehicles, and popsicles for humans and dogs.
The Games consist of traditional Celtic feats-of-strength competitions such as Braemar Stone, Hammer Toss, and Caber [log] Toss. Altogether, there were 14 athlete classes, each competing in 9 different events.
Susan and Doug Berry founded Highland Arts and Athletics in 2021 as a non-profit organization to keep this Celtic tradition going in the DFW area and to contribute philanthropically to the Grapevine community. Doug serves as the CEO and Athletic Director, and Susan does just about everything else!
Do you have prescription bottles with meds that are either outdated or that you no longer use? Did you know that throwing them away not only gives potential thieves your personal information, but may also contribute to the stock of street drugs? Did you know that flushing them down the toilet can contribute to city water contamination?
No matter your answers, keep in mind that the next National Drug Take-Back Day, sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), will be on Saturday, April 30 from 10am to 2pm in the front parking lot of the Grapevine Public Safety Building, located at 1007 Ira E. Woods Avenue.
You can bring your unused or expired medications (no liquids, aerosols, or sharps, please) to be safely disposed of, as well as any papers with your personal information on them to be shredded (provided by Data Shredding Services).
At approximately 10:45 p.m. on Wednesday, January 19, 2022, a man was driving near westbound SH-114 and Texan Trail when he spotted a motorcycle on the grass. He stopped to check on the rider and called 9-1-1.
The rider was unresponsive and medics pronounced the man dead at 10:58 p.m.
Officers noted skid marks on the road leading to the curb where the motorcycle crashed, along with a downed highway sign.
Investigators believe speed was a factor. The victim is a 23-year-old man from Grapevine. The medical examiner will release his name after notifying next of kin.