See what oversight recommendations the Fort Worth Police Department has agreed to adopt
Fort Worth’s independent police oversight office only has the power to recommend changes in the Fort Worth Police Department. Public records show the department has agreed to many of the recommendations made so far, but it still has progress to make.
The Fort Worth Police Department has agreed to many of the recommendations from the city’s police oversight office, with some exceptions, public records show.
The city established the Office of the Police Oversight Monitor in 2020 to serve as a watchdog over the police department. Police Monitor Kim Neal and her staff review police department policies and keep an eye on internal investigations into police conduct.
Neal does not have the power to tell the police department what to do, but she can make recommendations for changes.
Through a public records request, KERA obtained a spreadsheet of recommendations the police monitor’s office made from April 2020 to April 2022.
The spreadsheet lists the month and year the police monitor’s office made the recommendation, the recommendation itself, and the Fort Worth Police Department’s response: whether the department agreed with the recommendation, and whether the change is still in progress, partially completed, or completed.
The police department has agreed to and completed six of the recommendations, the spreadsheet shows. Those include:
- A revised de-escalation policy to include more guidance for officers, following a recommendation in May 2020
- Allowing the Office of the Police Oversight Monitor to sit in on oral boards, part of the job interview process with potential new recruits, following an April 2020 recommendation
The other recommendations the police department agreed with are listed as still in progress or partially completed. Those include:
- A 2020 recommendation to create a more detailed foot pursuit policy, that describes “the circumstances under which officers are allowed to conduct foot pursuits and corresponding searches.” The police monitor submitted a draft policy that is currently under review by the FWPD chain of command.
- A recommendation that would require Internal Affairs to formally notify people who lodge complaints about a police officer about the result of their complaint investigations, proposed in May 2020.
- A recommendation to make sure the department’s Use of Force Review Board has a diverse membership, proposed in April 2021.
Eight recommendations have no agreement or progress listed at all, including a January 2021 recommendation to require officers to give a warning before they use their stun guns.
Several of the recommendations with no agreement or progress listed are recent and relate to the police department’s proposed new technology contract. The $6-million-per-year contract would give the department new body cameras, new stun guns, new drones and an automatic license plate recognition system.
Regarding that technology, the police monitor’s office recommended that the police department:
- Enforce drone use to what is allowed under federal and state law
- Create rules for using automatic license plate readers and set disciplinary action for breaking those rules
- Develop community education campaigns to increase public awareness of the new technology and what its purposes are
The Fort Worth City Council is scheduled to vote on the new technology contract on Tuesday.
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