The Fort Worth Police Department is launching a new initiative it hopes will curb rising violent crime.
Called “#FortWorthSafe” the department said the plan combines various intelligence-led law enforcement efforts and continued community engagement.
“We are going to continuously evaluate what we do as a police department and we are going to rely on the community aspects as well,” said Officer Daniel Segura. “So hopefully with this initiative, which is going to be intelligence-based, we are going to be able to reduce these numbers,” he continued.
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In Fort Worth, like in Dallas and other major cities nationwide, crime has gone up during the pandemic. Longtime community leader Bob Ray Sanders believes focusing on community engagement is always a good thing but Sanders believes the specific efforts outlined in the new initiative are in fact not new at all.
“It’s a PR plan and perhaps we need that too,” Sanders said. “The communities and the community leaders certainly need to believe that the police is on their side and is willing to work with them,” he continued.
Sanders points to police-community relations as the key and says there remains a deep skepticism in many communities of color. Fixing it, he believes, comes down to a willingness on the part of police to evolve both internally, in terms of holding officers accountable — and externally, when it comes to engagement.
“We do need to get police involved, we need to get to know the person in our beat, not just the person who drives by in the patrol car,” he said.