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Posted on: June 10, 2022

Police chief earns state-wide award

Yarbrough Award june 2022 2 crop

Hutto Police Chief Jeff Yarbrough has been bestowed with one of the highest honors possible for law enforcement in the State of Texas. During a special ceremony on Friday, June 10, 2022, inside the Texas House of Representatives at the State Capitol Building in Austin, Chief Yarbrough was awarded the Law Enforcement Achievement Award by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement.

The award is given annually to peace officers, reserve officers and jailers who have exceeded the normal expectations of job performance through acts of professional achievement, public service or valor.

Chief Yarbrough was nominated in the professional achievement category by his peers. The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement defines the criteria as “when an individual, through personal initiative, fixity of purpose, persistence, or endeavor, creates a program or system which has a significant positive impact of the law enforcement profession which would exceed the normal expectations of job performance.”

The prestigious professional achievement honor stems from Chief Yarbrough’s work in his former role as the Chief of Police for the Round Rock Independent School District, where he oversaw safety and security for 57 campuses with nearly 7,000 employees and over 50,000 students.

While with Round Rock ISD, he developed and implemented the “four pillars of policing” model that focused on school safety, equality, behavioral health and student advocacy. A major portion of the policy included teams of social workers that worked directly with police officers to develop non-law enforcement solutions to address student needs.

“It is a model that has never existed in law enforcement,” Chief Yarbrough said. “It incorporates social workers into the police department. It was built upon student advocacy, meaning officers were advocates for students. The goal is to get them the help that they need so that they don’t re-offend.”

The program was so successful that Chief Yarbrough was brought on to teach it a Master’s-level course at the Texas School Safety Center, the governing body for all school-based police departments in the State of Texas.

“This is something that I am very proud of because I see the benefit of how it’s actually helping to set people up for long-term success and just not addressing the issues that can impede them now,” he said.

Just a few months on the job as Hutto’s Police Chief, Yarbrough is now implementing his four pillars of policing model in the local community – aiming to achieve the same success here in Hutto as he did in Round Rock.

“All of our citizens have differing needs and differing expectations, because people are all different,” he said. “We want to find other options and resources so that when [an offender] overcomes the issues that they’re facing, they can look back and say ‘I’m so glad those officers intervened in the way that they did.’ I really am proud of this professional achievement because I think with this award, it is a starting point for what we’re going to do in Hutto.”  

Chief Yarbrough has over 27 years of law enforcement experience and has previously served as an investigator with the Texas Attorney General, the State Bar of Texas and the Travis County District Attorney. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas and his Master’s degree from Texas A&M University.

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