Yousry “Yost” Zakhary
Chief of Police
Candidate for Fourth Vice President
As a candidate for the office of fourth vice president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, I want to share with you my personal history, as well as my beliefs concerning the future of IACP.
I am currently entering my 25th year as the working police chief of Woodway, Texas, where I began my career as a dispatcher more than 30 years ago. I have a masters in public administration from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and graduated in the 160th FBI National Academy class. I have served as president of the Texas Police Chiefs Association and chair of the Texas Police Chiefs Association Foundation, and I continue to be very active in both. Baylor University and our local community college have allowed me the opportunity to serve as an adjunct professor teaching criminal justice. My community work involves chairing the Scholarship Committee and the Christmas Needy Family Drive of our Rotary Club since 1990, chairing the 10 County Regional Police Academy Advisory Board, and serving as the president of the countywide 9-1-1 District since its inception in 1986. I am also a deacon in my church, chairing the Personnel Committee and serving on other committees.
As police chief of Woodway, my priority has always been providing officers and other employees with the best equipment, training, pay, benefits, and working environment. Recruitment and retention of professional, qualified, and caring personnel is always of great concern.
It was a privilege to be elected as your SACOP general chair for 2006–2008. As chair of SACOP, I had oversight responsibility of the Police Image and Ethics Committee, the Aviation Committee, the Police Physicians Section, and the Psychological Services Section. I am a member of the IACP Training and Education Committee and a former member of the Resolutions and Elections Committee. I was fortunate to serve on several key symposiums and focus group meetings while serving as SACOP chair. I have been a member of IACP since 1986 and am very proud to have the honor of attaining life membership status.
During this campaign, I have heard from many of you about your priorities and pressing concerns. I believe the IACP should make your issues its top priority. As fourth vice president, I promise to concentrate on five critical areas:
- Officer safety
- Recruitment and retention
- Unfunded mandates
- Immigration/border issues
- Enhancing technology
Officer Safety: Officer safety is an issue that affects everyone. Greater emphasis needs to be placed on research and training so that all officers can go home at the end of their shifts, secure both physically and mentally. I commit to you that through projects such as SACOP SafeShield officer safety will be a top priority.
Recruitment/Retention: Every department head I have spoken with recently expressed concern over the lack of qualified applicants for police service. If you give me the opportunity to serve you on the IACP Board of Officers, we will address this major issue of recruitment and retention of quality personnel. By working closely with state associations and programs such as the recently launched IACP Web site www.discoverpolicing.org great progress can be made.
Unfunded Mandates: In our current economic crisis, and for several years to come, police departments are facing more demands for service while experiencing budget shortfalls. Unfunded mandates drain our budgets of the resources needed to perform our core responsibilities. Together, we can fight these unfair mandates.
Immigration Border Issues: The issues involving illegal immigration affect us all, whether you serve in a border state such as Texas or not. There is no simple answer, but, by working with each state and the federal government, fair and workable solutions can be found. We cannot ignore this serious issue by allowing the problem to become increasingly more dangerous for our officers and citizens.
Enhancing Technology: While technology will never replace traditional police work, it is changing the world of law enforcement. Technology has enhanced our efforts and supplemented our work, but it has also allowed the criminal element to become more efficient and to operate on a global scale. Our teenagers can oftentimes text each other better than neighboring agencies can communicate. Technology is a critical tool in detecting, predicting, and preventing crime that must be utilized to its fullest.
For more information on my candidacy, please visit www.texaspolicechiefs.org. I want to serve you and the IACP with the same passion, energy, vision, and drive that have marked my career for more than 30 years.
I humbly ask for your support and votes.