Grand Saline searches for fire, police director

Citizens of Grand Saline packed the Grand Saline City Council chambers Oct. 10 for the Grand Saline city council meeting.

After being indicted and arrested, Grand Saline Police Chief Justin Collins submitted his resignation in writing to the City of Grand Saline Oct. 4.

Collins, who had been on paid administrative leave by the city since July 10, was booked into the Van Zandt County Jail Oct. 3 and charged with theft by a public servant and abuse of official capacity after turning himself in to the VZC Jail on warrants returned by a VZC Grand Jury indictment.

In a standing-room only council chamber, Grand Saline resident Kathy Smith took an opportunity to address the council, asking the council to consider promoting GS Police Sgt. Jason Burns as chief.

“Sgt. Jason Burns stepped in during a difficult time and has done an outstanding job. He has passion and loves what he does. He knows the town and its people, the good and bad. He has a positive relationship with other agencies and the Grand Saline police officers look up to him. I feel he is the most qualified for the position,” stated Smith.

 A notice on the Texas Municipal League website calls for a public safety director to oversee Grand Saline’s police and fire departments and EMS services for the city.

  GS City Manager Tully Davidson told the council that the public safety director would “oversee the workings of these departments.”

 The new position requires numerous qualifications such as an advanced TCOLE license, supervisory experience, 10 years previous law enforcement experience, and TCFP Basic (or ability to obtain within six months).

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