HP DPS Restructures, Adds Deputy Chiefs

The Highland Park Department of Public Safety has restructured to include the roles of deputy chiefs of fire, emergency medical services, police, and operations.

This change comes to bring more oversight, control, and management of each discipline covered by the department.

The Town Council was briefed on restructuring progress by Director of Public Safety Chuck McGinnis during its Dec. 5 study session.

“We want to truly be the best at this in the nation, and this is the first step in doing that,” McGinnis said.

A formal application and interview process was completed by qualified lieutenants and captains who were interested, which resulted in the following appointments:

  • Deputy Fire Chief: Capt. Ryan Pursley
  • Deputy EMS Chief: Lt. Zack Sitton
  • Deputy Police Chief: Capt. Marc Rossini
  • Deputy Operations Chief: Capt. Jame Mowrey

These individuals will take on their new roles throughout the fiscal year in intervals to retain operational strength and coordinate with new employees returning from training.

“We really have dedicated a lot of time, man hours, and passion into ensuring that the right people are walking in the door,” McGinnis said. “This week, specifically, to accomplish some of these things, we kind of reorganized a little bit.”

Purley is the first to assume his new role. An application and selection process is taking place for a new fire marshal as Ryan moves to deputy fire chief.

The Town Council approved the addition of nine full-time employees to the Department of Public Safety prior to former director Paul Sandman’s retirement.

“It took years of research by multiple people, mainly led by Chief (Paul) Sandman, to identify some shortfalls and some potential risks that were associated with our organization,” McGinnis said. “The main risk is how do we provide a service model that citizens expect and what they’ve grown to … love? … What it boils down to on the operation side is just a math problem.”

In other news, during the Dec. 5 meeting and study session, the Town Council:

  • Approved casting the town’s vote for Brett Franks for the board of directors of the Dallas Central Appraisal District.
  • Were presented with the rank of new Deputy Fire Chief Ryan Pursley.
  • Reviewed, discussed, and approved Amendment Number 02 to the agreement with Kimley-Horn and Associates for the Transportation Improvement Project.
  • Reviewed, discussed, and approved a construction contract with Landmark Structures for the Holland Elevated Storage Tank and Site Improvements.
  • Reviewed, discussed, and approved the replacement of the video surveillance system.
  • Reviewed and discussed the horse-drawn carriage program.
  • Reviewed and discussed the history of park names and markers.
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