Fort Worth Police Chief Withdraws From Finalist Spot in Baltimore's Search for New Commissioner

The Fort Worth police chief has withdrawn his name from consideration in Baltimore's search for a new police commissioner, in which he was considered the top pick.Baltimore mayor Catherine Pugh announced chief Joel Fitzgerald as her top pick for the position in November.The Monday morning announcement came just two days after the NAACP Legal Defense Fund sent a letter to members of Baltimore's city council Jan. 5, urging them to ask the mayor to remove Fort Worth Chief Joel Fitzgerald from consideration. The letter cited concerns about transparency after several public meetings about the hire were cancelled.On Jan. 3, The Baltimore Sun published a report suggesting Fitzgerald had overstated his accomplishments in reducing violent crime during his time in Fort Worth. While FBI data shows a decrease in thefts and burglaries since Fitzgerald took office in 2017, it also indicates a rise in rapes, homicides and aggravated assaults.The Fort Worth Police Department's 2018 figures also showed a decrease in overall crime between January and September as compared to the same period in 2015, but showed homicides and robberies were on the rise.Fitzgerald claimed in his resume that he began the largest body camera program in Texas, The Sun reported, but the Houston Police Department's 2,650 cameras for 4,491 officers is likely many more than those owned by Fort Worth's force of 1,700.Pugh told The Sun Monday that one of Fitzgerald's sons had suffered a serious medical emergency, and needed the chief's full attention.  Continue reading...

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