Fort Worth

Mayor, New Police Chief: Fort Worth Preparing For Two New Top City Leaders

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There will be significant changes within Fort Worth leadership over the next few months, particularly naming a new police chief and electing a new city mayor.

Next Thursday, there is a community meeting scheduled at 6:30 p.m. at the Fort Worth Convention Center where the six finalists for police chief will answer questions from the public. Manny Ramirez, president of the Fort Worth Police Officers’ Association, said their organization is committed to ensuring the next police chief has the support needed in order to be successful.

“We truly believe our citizens deserve to live in the safest city in America,” Ramirez said.

Fort Worth recorded 112 homicides in 2020, which is the most in 25 years. The most recent victim was a 14-year-old who was shot and killed during a large fight in south Fort Worth, police said.

“I would say the number one goal and focus of the next police chief ought to be a laser focus on driving those violent crime rates down. Seeing the crime wave that we’ve seen, the violent crime spikes, that we haven’t seen since the early 1990s is flat-out unacceptable,” Ramirez told NBC 5 Thursday. “We recognize that it takes a lot and that it’s broad support in our coalitions and our community has to be involved.”

Ramirez added, one of the challenges before the new chief is managing the city’s growing population. That same challenge is also before the new mayor, Ramirez said.

This week, Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price announced she would not seek a sixth term. Price is the city’s long-serving mayor of 10 years.

Bob Ray Sanders, former co-chair of Fort Worth’s Race and Culture Task Force, spoke with NBC 5 shortly after Price’s announcement Tuesday. Having both a new mayor and a new chief at the same time could pose some challenges, but Sanders said he did not anticipate major problems.

“A new mayor and a new chief? That can be a problem, but I think Fort Worth has handled it in such a way that we’ve got systems in place that it shouldn’t be a major problem,” he said. “I think everybody that I know of who wants this job or has considered running for mayor are people who really care about this city, who come in the image of Mayor Price and those mayors who proceeded her.”

Ramirez said it could present a unique opportunity.

“It provides a great opportunity to start off on the right foot to really clarify a vision and mission,” he said.

For more information on the Jan. 14 meeting, click here.

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