Tomball City Council members unanimously voted to appoint Jeffrey Bert as the city’s new chief of police June 1. Bert replaces former Chief Billy Tidwell, who resigned Jan. 17. Edward “Skip” Oliver, a former officer with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, has served as police chief in the interim, Community Impact Newspaper previously reported.
According to meeting information, Bert currently serves as a commander with the Los Angeles Police Department and has more than 24 years of municipal law enforcement experience.
“In March we began the process in search of the chief of police, and that closed in late April,” Tomball City Manager Rob Hauck said during the June 1 teleconference meeting.
Hauck said the city reviewed 129 applicants for the position. After reviewing applications, resumes and cover letters, applicants then went through a multistep interview process. Hauck said applicants responded to a written exercise, a 24-item questionnaire, and a behavior and leadership assessment, which resulted in four finalists, of which one was chosen as police chief by another city during the process.
The three finalists for Tomball police chief then had one-hour interviews each with members of the community, employees and city management, Hauck said.
“[We believe] he will immerse himself in this community and that he is the person that will best lead the Tomball police department and be a team member to our executive team as our next department head,” Hauck said during the meeting.
Bert has served with Los Angeles police since 1996, according to his resume, most recently as commander of the risk management legal affairs group, where he oversees 190 employees.
In his current role, Bert oversees the department’s compliance with state laws and training changes regarding use of force, pursuits and the Racial and Identity Profiling Act, his resume states, and he has coordinated academic partnerships for research projects regarding public sentiment, crime reduction and police effectiveness. He also developed the LAPD strategic plan, titled “LAPD 2020 & Beyond.”
Previously, Bert served as commander of the community policing and policy group, where he led large-scale community engagement efforts throughout Los Angeles and as captain for patrol and traffic divisions of the LAPD, according to his resume.
Bert graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a bachelor’s degree in English literature and has a master’s degree in dramatic literature from King’s College, according to his resume. He also attended the Senior Management Institute for Police in 2019.
Hauck said Bert will begin his role June 29.
Bert addresses Tomball residents in a video message shared by the city June 2.