July 31, 2020
FORT WORTH, Texas - Since December 2019, the Fort Worth
Police Department has collaboratively and transparently worked with a panel of
Policy Reform Experts in an effort to improve our department. We would like to
thank the panel for their willingness to partner with us in this effort by
coordinating interviews and meeting with department staff throughout the
During this review, the panel committed to sharing
significant observations and recommendations with the department as they
identified them, allowing us to immediately address these items rather than
wait for the panel’s interim report. Because of this partnership, our
department has already adopted several of the identified recommendations and we
are currently working on several others.
Some of the changes that have already been implemented, or
are underway include:
to our Use of Force Policy and General Orders to enhance accountability and
further clarify de-escalation and duty to intervene expectations, recognizing
that these are serious policy violations when not followed.
pertaining to investigating and classifying civilian complaints.Effective June
1st, 2020, all citizen complaints are assigned a complaint number by Internal
Affairs for accurate tracking.
of the implementation of an early warning system that will facilitate the
identification of officers who may be a risk for misconduct. The program is
designed to identify employees who may be facing professional or personal
difficulties that are affecting their work performance and who may need some
form of support, guidance, or assistance.The overall objective is to intervene
early to avoid any negative conduct.
department has also created and is working to expand a Mental Health Crisis
Intervention Team that partners with non-law enforcement mental health
personnel to provide services to mental health consumers. The Fort Worth Police
Department is also working to identify funding to provide Mental Health Peace
Officer training and certification to every eligible officer. Furthermore, we
are researching other agencies nationwide, evaluating how to most effectively
divert non-police calls directly to mental health providers.
Chief Kraus will
provide a more complete briefing to the Mayor and Council following the
presentation by the panel at the City Council work session on Tuesday, Aug. 4.
Our department will continue to review the findings of the panel to ensure our
policies reflect policing best practices and the expectations of our community.