Contract negotiations are underway between the City of Fort Worth and the Fort Worth Police Officers Association, as the current contract is set to expire Sept. 30.
In addition to increased annual pay raises, the police union is asking for changes to its recruiting policies to boost staffing for the roughly 1,600-member department in a fast-growing portion of the city that already has more than 830,000 people.
That section of the city is covered by the North Patrol Division, which is spread thin to the point there is a plan to create an entire new patrol division — the city’s sixth — beginning in 2017.
Staffing concerns have impacted police coverage in Far North Fort Worth — the area north of North Loop 820 toward Texas Motor Speedway, which has the slowest average response time for police calls.
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It’s a daily concern of Lance Griggs, President of the Summerfields Neighborhood Association.
“I’m amazed they’re covering it as well as they are with the staffing that they have,” he said. “We need more officers desperately.”
Griggs said three different city council members have personally told him that they will do what it takes to see that his area of the city is patrolled effectively.
“We actually had one incident last year where it took 45 minutes for an officer to answer a Priority 1 call in Far North Fort Worth,” he said. “I think it was supposedly a home invasion. And that’s scary.”