Ballinger PD chief stepping down

Bill Hancock
Runnels County Register
Ballinger Police Chief Stan Maresch will be stepping down and taking over the role of the newly created lieutenant position on the Ballinger Police Department.

Ballinger Police Chief Stan Maresch will be voluntarily stepping down and becoming the lieutenant of the Ballinger Police Department. Maresch said the change was a matter of doing what he felt was right.

“Choosing the right path often means you have to find willpower; to make hard choices, and resist excuses,” Maresch said. The lieutenant position was recently created by the city council.

Maresch released a statement commenting on the move under the guidance of new city manager Brian Frieda.

"With new leadership, the City of Ballinger now has an opportunity to take this Police Department, and other departments, to a higher level than it has ever been. In order for us to make these changes, we have to choose the right path. There were several different paths to choose from and it was a hard choice to decide to step down as Chief of Police," the statement said.

The statement continued: "In the redevelopment of the city, opportunities evolved that would benefit The City, The Department, and in this course an avenue evolved that I was not forced in any way into on making my career future decision. My wife and I pondered over the different paths available, and this is the path we choose. An answer before any questions is: No, I am not quitting the BPD! Rather I am accepting a newly created position as The Lieutenant for Our Department. I feel like this is the place I need to be in order to assist the department, and our community, in reaching the next level.

"I am proud to say it has been a great honor, serving this community as your Chief, and I am excited for having the opportunity to serve the community as your new Lieutenant!"

The city council and Frieda agreed to the move as Ballinger looks to rebuild the community after a couple of hectic years that have had two controversial city managers, crippling budget woes and complaints across the board, from the two former city managers to the police department. Part of that rebuilding is making changes to the various departments, as well as bringing in new leadership.

Frieda reiterated that he wants to pursue a positive future for Ballinger.

He released a statement regarding the decision to bring in a new chief: "As Chief Maresch spoke to in his response, every department within the city is, or will be, undergoing various types of changes, as we continue to move forward. We were tasked with determining our strengths and weaknesses across the board, and to determine how best to bolster our strengths, in addition to finding trainings, and other opportunities to address our weaknesses.

Chief Maresch and I have been discussing a variety of conditions within the police department and how we can better address the community’s needs. We have also been addressing the rapid changes that are taking place within the profession of law enforcement. Chief Maresch came to me and asked about the possibility of voluntarily reducing in rank, in order to pursue his degree in criminal justice, in addition to furthering his usefulness, through training that would allow him to bring new ideas and other programs and standards to Ballinger. I shared with him my experiences in law enforcement, how this is is not uncommon, it is admirable and selfless, and that it reassured how I respected the fact that while addressing the needs for his professional development; he was looking to address the needs of the Ballinger police department, and the community.

With this information in hand, we began to pursue leadership willing to accept the challenge’s of being a Chief of Police in these trying times. Over the course of almost 60 days, the list dwindled rapidly, especially with the approaching holidays. However, we were able to bring an individual before the council for an interview on December 17th, and we will be presenting the candidate to the council for a formal vote.

With this exciting news, and the pathway for the future of Ballinger once more shaping into place, we are proceeding with caution and discipline. With a temporary quell of excitement, we will be introducing the newest member of our administrative staff when they come onboard in January."

Maresch has been with the Ballinger Police Department since starting as a patrolman in 2010.

The next city council meeting will be held at City Hall on Jan. 4, 2021, at 5:30 p.m.