ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – In this week’s edition of Big Country Politics, Big Country Homepage hosted newly appointed Abilene Police Department Public Safety Director Troy Riggs.

Director Riggs has been in law enforcement for over 30 years while serving as Chief of Police for two departments including the City of Corpus Christi, Texas, and Indianapolis, Indiana, and as public safety director in three cities. Riggs described his role as Abilene Public Safety Director.

Well, for here in Abilene, that’s basically giving some oversight for the police department, you have a great Interim Chief of Police Chief Wren, he’s done a phenomenal job, helping him when he needs help helping the rest of the staff,” said Riggs.

Riggs was referred to Abilene City Manager Robert Hanna from the group Strategic Government Resources. Riggs has not only been a police chief and public safety director during his tenured career but has assisted other cities in selecting a chief of police.

In addition to reviewing and looking for best practices that can be utilized in Abilene, Riggs will also be called on to provide insight to the Abilene City Manager regarding the search for Abilene’s next chief of police.

“I heard great things about the Abilene Police Department for years in the city in general,” said Riggs. “I really liked Mr. Hanna and he asked me if I’d be interested in coming here and helping out try to cast a vision for the future looking for what officers, civilian employees, and the public wants in the next chief and kind of laying that groundwork out before the next chief of Abilene has selected.”

In a special meeting with the media earlier this month Director Riggs discussed what the Abilene Police Department needs in a new chief.

“Whether it’s an internal candidate or external, they have to have a vision, they have to understand the challenges of law enforcement today, and the importance of communication,” said Riggs. And by all means, they have to have a history of integrity, being honest, even when things are difficult. The chief has the responsibility of being honest to the troops, but more importantly, being honest with the public that he or she will serve.”

In addition to assisting the city in choosing a new chief of police Riggs will also be implementing a collection of data to combat crime in the City of Abilene.

“What I’m wanting to talk about across the nation, it’s not just here and unique to Abilene, but basically what’s happening is we call our police officers crime fighters, but you’re really a crime reactor,” said Riggs. “What I’m trying to do here is lay a foundation for a strong data set that will tell officers and be shared with citizens about crime, the movement of crime, what types of crime are coming to the forefront, so they’re better prepared to deal with that.”