Monday, August 4, 2008
Frisco Police Chief Todd Renshaw and officers make a difference in citizens’ lives
"Hiring the right folks and making sure that they're provided with the right tools and training to do a good job is paramount."
FRISCO Frisco Police Chief Todd Renshaw’s father was a Methodist minister, so the now 47-year-old chief spent his formative years moving about to an extent.
Renshaw earned an associate’s degree in horticulture from Richland College in 1981. In high school he worked for a landscape contractor and for a retail nursery while in college. During college, he and a partner started a landscape business and during slack times, he worked in construction.
“In 1983, I left the landscape business and started to work as a patrol officer, detective and sergeant for the city of Allen until I accepted the position of captain for the city of Coppell in 1991,” he said. “In 1994, I accepted the position of chief of police for the city of Frisco.”
He earned a B.A. in sociology from the University of Texas at Dallas in 1991 and a M.S. in criminal justice management from Sam Houston State University in 1995. To further prepare him to be chief of police for a rapidly growing city and to be the leader of 137 police officers, he graduated from the Law Enforcement Management Institute’s Leadership Command College in 1998 and the FBI National Academy, class 208, in 2002.
The city of Frisco doesn’t require that officers have a degree, he said, but close to half of them has either a bachelor’s degree or both a bachelor’s and master’s degree. Degrees are required for some promotions and the city has a program wherein it reimburses tuition and fees at state rates, but it doesn’t pay for books.
According to Renshaw, presently there is a hiring stipend of $1,000; a police officer cadet earns $44,903 annually; a police officer earns $51,000 - $66,900; a police sergeant earns $72,600 - $80,964, and a police lieutenant earns $85,514 - $96,033.
The 2008 budget is $15,859.243.
“About one-half of our officers are local and one-half live in close-by cities,” he said.
Moral standards take high priority in an officer’s life.
“One of the questions that we ask on the interview board is ‘do you think police officers should be held to higher ethical standards than the general public?’” he said. “There’s a difference in a mistake of the mind, but not of the heart.
“We have arrested several of our officers over the years for criminal actions.”
Renshaw explains that police officers come from the same general pool that everybody else comes from and reiterates that if it’s a mistake of the mind, he can work with that. But if it’s an intentional knowing unjustifiable act, he doesn’t have a lot of patience.
“Hiring the right folks and making sure that they’re provided with the right tools and training to do a good job is paramount,” he said. “If management is doing what it should be doing there, then the catching of crooks is done well by the officers.”
The staff knows what it’s capable of doing and works together to do an amazing job; it’s a pleasure being here, he said. Working with people is by far the most enjoyable part of his job.
“You have to be a people person to do this job and on the law enforcement side, I tell my staff that they’re making a difference in someone’s life every day,” he said.
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Several community-oriented programs, among which are Frisco Citizens on Patrol, Frisco Citizens Police Academy, Frisco Neighborhood Watch, and National Night Out, have been implemented since Renshaw became chief.
He has been married to his wife, Lisa, for 26 years, and they have three children, Todd, Jr. (T.J.), 24, Tyler, 22, and Rachel 19.
There’s a friendly camaraderie between Chief Renshaw and Frisco Fire Chief Mack Borchardt.
“Because I’m a couple of years older than chief Renshaw, he has on occasion called me ‘dad.’ I know Todd’s father and neither of us wish to take credit for his upbringing,” he says with a smile.
“Seriously, chief Renshaw has been a pleasure to work with,” said Borchardt. “The Frisco Police and Fire Department have an unusually good working relationship, and I credit chief Renshaw with putting forth the effort to make that possible.
“Without a doubt, our citizens, as well as our firefighters and police officers, are the beneficiaries.”
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