Community leaders and activists reflected on the brief tenure of Fort Worth police Chief Ed Kraus, who announced Monday he plans to retire by the end of the year.
Kraus took over the department and only months later was forced to navigate a firestorm of criticism following the killing of Atatiana Jefferson in her own home.
“He came in at the exact time we really needed him and I think we still need him,” longtime Fort Worth Civil Rights activist Bob Ray Sanders said.
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Sanders said he believed Kraus did an excellent job during his time as chief, dealing openly and honestly with minority communities and committing to reform. Sanders said he hoped Kraus' legacy would carry over into the next chief who he would like to see chosen from within the Fort Worth Police Department's ranks.
“I know we have some good people on that command staff and two or three are capable of being chief of police,” Sanders said.
Rev. Michael Bell said he believed Kraus did a good job but stopped short of calling his tenure a success, citing the short duration. Bell said he believed much still needed to be done and unlike Sanders would like to see a nationwide search for the next chief.
“The person who is most qualified to take us into the 21st century of policing here in Fort Worth is who I’m looking for,” Bell said.