San Marcos officials announce 5 finalists for chief of police position, release community survey data

Survey participants call on chief to focus on training for officers including mental health, racial bias and de-escalation

Hays County Courthouse, downtown San Marcos, Tx. (Jakob Rodriguez, Copyright 2020 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

SAN MARCOS, Texas – The City of San Marcos is narrowing its candidate selection for its chief of police position.

The city announced five finalists to interview for the position and released crowdsourced data from a community survey, which will help guide the interview process.

The city reported that the search for the new chief of police had an applicant pool made up of 92 candidates from across the country. The interview process is scheduled to be conducted in September, the city said in a statement.

To include the public’s perspective in the selection process, an online survey was available during July and the first week of August in both English and Spanish.

According to the city, the survey contained a variety of questions about department priorities, community engagement, safety and desired qualities of the next Chief of Police.

The city says 1,089 responses have been collected and analyzed in total. According to the data collected by the city most respondents, 87.04%, live in the City of San Marcos and the majority of survey respondents, 73.62%, work in San Marcos. Additionally, the data released by the city indicated that 9.21% of all respondents work for The City of San Marcos.

RELATED: San Marcos crowdsourcing community priorities for new chief of police

Collected in the survey were community priorities for the position, fair and just policing reigned supreme over crime-solving and investigations.

According to the recap of the survey results, a primary area of concern among participants was community engagement and transparency.

“According to several respondents, the next Chief needs to make sure there is accountability in the Department and that all citizens are treated fairly and equally. The next Chief should lead by example and be visible and accessible to the community,” the survey recap stated. “Many respondents felt that the next Chief should engage with the national conversation around racial justice and police reform; the Chief should evaluate the needs of the Department and community. In addition to community engagement, many felt that the next Chief should work on a collaborative relationship with Texas State University. Survey participants also called on the Chief to focus on training for the officers, including mental health, racial bias, and de-escalation training.”

Starting in mid to late-September, candidates will be interviewed by five interview panels consisting of groups of community stakeholders, community criminal justice partners, police department employees, city executive team members and the City Council.

The candidate pool will then be narrowed down to two or three candidates and additional in-person interviews will be conducted and a community meet-and-greet will take place. Then, a final candidate will be chosen, the city said.

The city will release more information about the meet-and-greet opportunity in a release and on the San Marcos Police Department Facebook page once the plans are finalized.

Full candidate bios and the results of the community survey can be found below:

Chief Robert Brown

Robert Brown, image courtesy of The City of San Marcos. (Copyright 2020 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

Chief Brown was appointed Chief of Police for the City of Duncanville, Texas on February 5th, 2007 and began his law enforcement career in Waco, Texas as a police cadet in June of 1982.

Brown served as a field training officer in Waco and joined the University Park Police Department in 1994. He worked in many capacities and advanced through the ranks very quickly; becoming the first African American sergeant, lieutenant, and captain in the history of the University Park Police Department.

Brown earned a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree from Northwood University and holds a Master of Business Administration Degree in Management from Amberton University. Brown is a graduate of the 38th Management College from the Institute for Law Enforcement Administration (ILEA) in Plano, Texas. He is also a graduate of the prestigious FBI National Academy, Session #216, in Quantico, Virginia. He holds a Master Peace Officer certification from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE).

Chief Adele Fresé

Adele Fresé, image courtesy of The City of San Marcos. (Copyright 2020 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

Chief Fresé is currently the chief of police in Salinas, California, where she leads a department of over 230 law enforcement and support personnel, with an annual budget of $52 million.

Fresé began her public service career in 1985 by serving in the United States Marine Corps. In 1994, she joined the Corpus Christi Police Department as a patrol officer and rose through the ranks to field training officer, sergeant, and lieutenant.

She worked and provided positive leadership to police personnel in a wide variety of assignments in Patrol, Crime Prevention, Special Operations, Narcotic Investigations, and Support Services.

Fresé earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice Administration from California State University at Hayward, and a minor degree in Sociology in 1992.

She earned a Master of Science in Public Safety, completed the Senior Executives in State and Local Government at the Harvard Kennedy School, and PERF’s Senior Management Institute for Police. Fresé is a Texas Certified Public Manager.

Chief Bob Klett

Bob Klett, image courtesy of The City of San Marcos. (Copyright 2020 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

Klett has spent 31 years serving the citizens of San Marcos, Texas at the San Marcos Police Department where he currently holds the title of interim police chief.

Chief Klett began his public service career in 1986 in a volunteer capacity for Gillespie County EMS and South Hays County Volunteer Fire Department. During his tenure at these agencies, he worked in various positions and at the Southwest Texas State University Police Department as a police officer.

In 1989, he began his career at the San Marcos Police Department as a Police Officer, while simultaneously serving as reserve firefighter to the San Marcos Fire Department.

He was promoted to police corporal in 1995, police sergeant in 1999, police commander in 2010, and assistant police chief in 2014. He has held lifesaving roles in the San Marcos Aquatic Recovery Team, the Civil Air Patrol, and has worked as an educator for local public safety academies.

In his role as interim chief, he has led SMPD in police reform and partnered with the San Marcos Criminal Justice Committee.

Klett is a graduate of the International Association of Police Chief’s Leadership in Police Organizations program and holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Applied Arts from Texas State University. He is a member of the Texas Police Chiefs Association, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Hays County Criminal Justice Association, the Hays County Criminal Justice Coordinating Commission, the CAPCOG Criminal Justice Advisory Committee, and holds a Master Peace Officer certification from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE).

Deputy Chief Brad McKeone

Brad McKeone, image courtesy fo the city of San Marcos. (Copyright 2020 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

McKeone has over 20 years of law enforcement experience with the Coral Springs Police Department in Coral Springs, Florida, and is currently the Deputy Chief of Operations.

Early in his career, Deputy Chief McKeone served as a field training officer, a detective in the Vice, Intelligence and Narcotics Unit and task force officer with the Drug Enforcement Administration, Fort Lauderdale District Office.

After his promotion to sergeant in 2009, McKeone supervised areas within the Patrol Division and Traffic Unit. In 2014, he was promoted to Lieutenant and served as a platoon commander on patrol.

After being promoted to Captain, McKeone supervised the Community Services and Operational Support components. He was promoted to Deputy Chief of Police in March of 2018; overseeing the Operations Division which consists of Operational Support (Patrol and Traffic units), Criminal Investigations and the Special Operations divisions.

He has received multiple awards for Exceptional Police Initiative, Team Citations and was Officer of the Year in 2008. McKeone graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice and Columbia Southern University with a Master’s in Criminal Justice Administration.

Deputy Chief McKeone is a graduate of the Southern Police Institute (SPI) Command Officers Development Course, session #75, and the FBI National Academy (FBINA) Program held in Quantico, Virginia, session #276.

Chief Stan Standridge

Stan Standridge, image courtesy of The City of San Marcos. (Copyright 2020 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

Standridge has served more than 25 years with the Abilene Police Department, for the last eleven years he has served as the chief of police.

Chief Standridge currently serves as the president of the Texas Police Chiefs Association (TPCA), an organization that seeks to promote the professional practice of law enforcement and advocates for the highest standards of ethical conduct among today’s peace officers.

Standridge has a Master of Public Administration degree from Sam Houston State University and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy. He graduated from LEMIT’s Leadership Command College in 2009 and the FBI’s Law Enforcement Executive Development (LEADS) program in 2018.

Standridge is the recipient of numerous awards, including 20 Under 40 Business Leader, Executive Leadership Award, I-CAN Hero, and the TPCA’s Innovation Award. He has chaired the State’s Officer Safety Committee and worked with his team to create VINCIBLE--a statewide program that works to reduce police officer line of duty deaths and injuries in Texas–which is used by more than 1,500 police agencies, including the San Marcos Police Department.

The community survey report can be found below, a survey summary report is available in English and Spanish.

Related: San Marcos police give update on officer struck by vehicle in March

About the Author:

Jakob Rodriguez is a digital journalist at KSAT 12. He's a graduate of Texas State University, where he served as the editor-in-chief of the student-run newspaper, The University Star.