The Ennis Chamber of Commerce held its quarterly luncheon and roundtable this week and kicked off the summer with a report of the chambers activities within the past year.

According to chamber president and CEO, Patsy Grider, the chamber has increased the bottom line and decreased expenses during the last year.

“It is important that the chamber inform all of you how we are doing because it is from the membership fees you pay and our fundraisers that we get our operating money,” Grider said.

Grider also reminded the crowd of the upcoming chamber fundraiser and auction in August. The theme will be “planes, trains and automobiles.”

“We picked the theme because of the relevance it has to Ennis. Planes is obviously for the effort the city is putting forth to build a new airport, trains is for the rich railroad history that Ennis built on and automobiles is for the Texas Motorplex. We will tie in some other themes as well and we encourage everyone to plan to attend,” she said.

Guest speaker for the event was newly elected Police Chief/City Marshal, John Erisman.

After giving a brief recount of his background, Erisman shared his personal game plan for the police department and how he is keeping a campaign promise he made to the voters in Ennis.

“I made a promise to the voters to lead with Christian morals and values, but a leader also has to be a good follower. I try to lead my life and my team based on how Jesus told us to and I hope I can lead by example. I hope that my team sees that in me and respects me for it,” said Erisman.

Along with his leadership plan, Erisman touched on some points that the department has seen advancements in and will see in the upcoming months, including:

The field training program - the program has now become standardized so that all new recruits have the same training so when they begin patrolling on their own, they are on the same page as the other officers. New recruits get a 17-week training period and veterans get up to eight weeks, depending on their prior service.

A new computer system called, E-Force that allows the officers to do their paperwork via the computers that are in all Ennis Police Department squad cars, allowing the officers to spend more time on the streets and less time in the office as well as allowing them a quicker response time when needed. In the upcoming months, an increased budget will allow for the addition of four new corporal positions, two certified SWAT members and TECLEOSE instructors.

To fulfill his promise to increase community relations, Erisman plans to have neighborhood watch programs implemented and hopes that community members will take the opportunity to get to know the officers that protect their homes and businesses.

“I think the future holds wonderful things for the city of Ennis and the police department. I want to assure the community that if they need us, we are just a phone call away,” Erisman said.

The luncheon was sponsored by Citizens National Bank which will open a location in the H.E.B grocery store within a month and hold ground breaking ceremonies at the branch location on East Ennis Avenue on June 28.