Fort Worth

Will He Stay or Go? Preachers Debate the Fate of Fort Worth Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald

Joel Fitzgerald is the only finalist to be Baltimore's next chief of police

Radio station KHVN-AM hosted a spirited discussion Wednesday with two preachers who had different sermons about Fort Worth Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald is the only finalist for the top job in Baltimore.

"The Baptist Ministers Union voted unanimously to try to keep Fitzgerald, and you're encouraging the city of Fort Worth to match whatever offer the city of Baltimore is offering him," host Robert Ashley asked.

"Absolutely," replied Rev. Dr. Kyev Tatum. "We've made a significant shift in the culture of our department. We just do not believe that now is the time to change the man on the horse."

Fitzgerald's time in Fort Worth has not been without controversy, which was highlighted in viral videos in which officers' actions were criticized by the public. He was also at the helm during the sobering loss officer Garrett Hull.

"I do know we have a community that is against this police chief," Rev. Dr. Michael Bell said.

"Your conclusion is that Chief Joel Fitzgerald needs to go ahead and leave Fort Worth and if Baltimore wants him, Baltimore can have him?" Ashley asked. "Is that your assessment sir?"

"That's exactly," Bell said. "Absolutely."

The Fort Worth mayor's office said Fitzgerald has not turned in his resignation. He was in Baltimore this week, where the city council is vetting him for the top law enforcement job.

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