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Fort Worth P.D. Updates Department Policies
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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 process.

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:

             Additions 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.

             Changes 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.

             Final phase 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.

             Our 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.

 

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