Ray Villeda, NBC 5 News
The day after a Fort Worth police officer was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving, the city's police chief said officers against whom a driving-while-intoxicated case is "sustained" by internal investigation will be fired.
Fort Worth Chief of Police Jeffrey Halstead promises swift action going forward during investigations of alcohol-related offenses by officers.
In a press conference Thursday, Halstead said the department has grown tired of negative headlines and that he will fire officers who violate department policy regarding drinking and driving.
"If the investigation reveals the truth of the allegations, from this day forward, every employee will be indefinitely suspended. They will be terminated," said Halstead.
Halstead, frustrated by the number of cases of drinking and driving by officers over his four-year tenure, demanded better for the citizens of Fort Worth.
"We took an oath to protect those citizens. And if you're going to endanger those citizens and we sustain your allegation of misconduct, I will fire you. I'm not going to wait to see how your criminal case is going to go through its proceedings. We are done with that. Our citizens deserve better," said Halstead.
Thursday's press conference was sparked by the recent DWI arrests of DWI enforcement officer Nicolas Ramirez and the chief's Chief of Staff, Maj. Paul Henderson. Ramirez was arrested early Wednesday morning on suspicion of drunken driving in Westlake by Keller police while Henderson was arrested in early December.
According to a Keller police report, Ramirez was swerving on a road in Westlake, when he was pulled over.
The mother of a woman killed by a drunken Fort Worth police detective three years ago said Wednesday the department hasn't learned from the past and that the chief needs to terminate officers who are arrested for drunken driving.
Chief Halstead said he would work more efficiently when alcohol-related cases crossed his desk, and if he found strong evidence of a DWI, he would fire the person.
Ramirez is charged with a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison, a fine or both.
NBC 5's Ray Villeda contributed to this report.