Q&A with the new police chiefs of Lakeway and Bee Cave

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Bee Cave Police Chief Brian Jones


What is a unique challenge of policing mid-sized cities that have smaller police forces and budgets?

Fortunately, the city of Bee Cave is a community that is very supportive of its police department. Although there is no ‘defund’ sentiment in Bee Cave, we still have to operate with a limited budget and resources. Unlike many larger departments with specialized units, Bee Cave officers have to be well-versed in not only patrol operations, but all other aspects of law enforcement as well.

Why did you become interested in law enforcement?

Unlike many police officers, I didn’t grow up with a desire to work in law enforcement. After graduating from college, one of my friends who was an officer in Houston convinced me to give it a shot. I thought it might be fun to do for a few years. Twenty-five years later, I’m still a police officer. That says something about how rewarding it’s been.

What role is technology playing in law enforcement? Are police forces growing more efficient because of certain software or computers?


Technology has grown exponentially since I became a police officer. When I first started, officers hand-wrote reports on carbon copy forms and took photos with Polaroid cameras. Now, police departments are much more efficient because of modern technology. Information is so much more accessible, especially as it pertains to crime analysis, data storage, [geographic information system], and computer software that assists in criminal investigations.

What is a common misconception about working as a police officer when interacting with the public?

I think a common misconception is that police officers are not robots, but human beings just like anyone else. We have our good days and bad days. We are expected to remain professional and courteous at all times, justifiably so, even when faced with the most adverse of circumstances. Even though we sometimes fall short, we hold ourselves to a higher standard.

Is there a regional public safety issue that Bee Cave shares with surrounding communities?

A regionally shared public safety issue would be the traffic that has come with explosive growth in our area. A great school district and high quality of life attracts commercial and residential expansion. Because of this growth, traffic has become a major concern with collisions and incidents of ‘road rage’ on the rise. I ask people to please be patient and more mindful of other drivers around you. The city of Bee Cave is currently working with [the Texas Department of Transportation] to find ways to alleviate this issue.

Lakeway Police Chief Glen Koen


What is a unique challenge of policing mid-sized cities that have smaller police forces and budgets?

While there certainly is a nationwide discussion playing out on policing practices and funding, I have found that the most meaningful discussions are focused locally and address the things which are most important to the local community. The most unique challenge with respect to funding currently is grants. As is often the case, though, national discussions can alter the eligibility requirements for those grants.

Why did you become interested in law enforcement?

My upbringing instilled in me the value of being of service to others. It also taught me the importance of standing up for what is right. This foundation made it more likely for me to choose a career field focused on some form of public service. My choice of law enforcement as a profession was cemented by the positive influence of some police officers who were a part of my life as a teen. It has been a very rewarding and meaningful career thus far.

What role is technology playing in law enforcement? Are police forces growing more efficient because of certain software or computers?

Unquestionably, technology has made law enforcement more effective, efficient and responsive. Technology has also increased the opportunity for officers to successfully de-escalate very problematic situations. Not every new technological development solves a problem, but I will always remain open to considering new technology that enhances the professionalism and service of the Lakeway Police Department.

What is a common misconception about working as a police officer when interacting with the public?

In my career, I have found that many people expect officers to be able to completely and easily resolve their issue. Unfortunately, reality often falls short of this expectation. While officers almost always make every reasonable effort to bring about a resolution that is just and satisfying to all involved, some problems don’t have an easily attainable solution. Please remember that officers are people, too. While they try hard to do so, they may not be able to meet every expectation.

Is there a regional public safety issue that Lakeway shares with surrounding communities?

I am returning to Central Texas after a six-year experience in the Pacific Northwest, so I will not claim to have a complete understanding of all the challenges. That said, emergency preparedness and traffic issues jump out immediately. Based on my conversations with city leadership, I would say the city has been responsive in addressing the lessons learned from last year’s extreme weather, and I envision a good partnership between the PD and the emergency manager.

Responses for both police chiefs have been lightly edited for style.
By Greg Perliski

Editor, Lake Travis/Westlake & Northwest Austin

Greg joined Community Impact as an editor in November 2020. In the communities he covers, Greg reports on local government, transportation, real estate development and business. He has written for newspapers, online publications and corporate communications teams. Greg earned a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin.