Fort Worth's New Police Chief Plans ‘No Immediate Changes'

Phoneix Police Commander named new Fort Worth police chief

Jeff W. Halstead was named Tuesday the new Fort Worth police chief following a nationwide search.

Halstead, a 20-year veteran of the Phoenix Police Department, succeeds Chief Ralph Mendoza, who retired earlier this year after a 35-year career in Fort Worth.

Halstead said he's looking forward to being Fort Worth's top cop.

"It's a great department," he said in a phone interview, adding he plans no immediate changes.

"I'll be leaning on those current leaders in the organization to give me knowledge," he said. "I don't come in as a guy who says, 'My way or the highway.'"

Fort Worth's interim police Chief Patricia Kneblick, a finalist for the job herself, had no immediate comment.

City Manager Dale  Fisseler said it was a difficult decision.

"We had a number of outstanding candidates, but I believe that Jeff will provide the leadership we need,” said Fisseler. "Protection of our residents remains our highest priority."

The appointment must be confirmed by the city council before it is official, but approval is viewed as a formality.

"Our city manager has done his due diligence, and I’m confident that his decision to recommend Jeff Halstead is a good one," said Mayor Mike Moncrief.

All off the candidates for chief showed tremendous skills and qualifications, but the mayor said “ unfortunately, not all of them could be selected.”

Fisseler will ask the council to confirm Halstead’s appointment and salary Nov. 11. Halstead, who currently supervises the Homeland Security Bureau of the Phoenix Police Department, is set to begin his new duties in December.

Halstead began his law enforcement career with the Phoenix Police Department in 1988 as an officer. During his career there, he has served as police sergeant responsible for media relations, traffic enforcement and field training as well as lieutenant of several other city bureaus and units.

Halstead has a bachelor’s in law enforcement administration from Ottawa University in Arizona and a master’s in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University.

He is married and has two sons.

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