On Monday, June 1, 2020 it was brought to the attention of The City of Texarkana, Texas that an employee of the Texarkana Texas Fire Department made racially charged statements on their personal Facebook account. Once we were made aware, this matter was expediently sent to the appropriate supervisor for further review and will be dealt with according to the city’s personnel policy regarding prohibited activities and use of social media. Pending an investigation and due process under civil service law, the employee has been placed on paid administrative leave.
Mayor Bob Bruggeman, the Texarkana, Texas City Council, City Manager Shirley Jaster, Fire Chief Eric Schlotter and the administration of the City of Texarkana, Texas are disappointed and angered by the statements made. We want to convey our deepest apologies for the actions of this employee and vehemently refute what was said. The sentiments do not in any way reflect the values of the City of Texarkana, Texas.
In light of the recent death of George Floyd, and racial tensions nationwide, it is important to make the City’s position clear. We are heartbroken for the African-American community, not just in our city, but also across our nation. We are thankful for the peaceful protests that have prevailed in Texarkana, USA thus far, and we believe change can come from difficult conversations, open minds, honesty and effort.
Each one of us is committed to providing a “Welcoming and Safe Environment” to all people, no matter their race, religion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, socioeconomic or disability status. Moving forward, we promise to make these principles our core to guide in how we listen, engage, educate ourselves and interact with the citizens of Texarkana.