FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – The Fort Worth police chief issued an apology and said it won’t happen again.
On Wednesday, Police Chief Jeff Halstead posted on the department’s Facebook page, “I agree with our citizens concerns and I apologize for our participation. Any future federal survey of this nature, which jeopardizes the public’s trust, will not be approved for the use of Fort Worth police.”
The police chief also wrote concerns about the survey should be directed to the National Highway Traffic and included the NHTSA’s phone number and email address.
The NHTSA hired off-duty Fort Worth police offices to help with traffic control for its nationwide survey about alcohol and drug impaired drivers.
Friday drivers traveling north along North Beach Street found the road blocked by cones and a Fort Worth police cruiser near the intersection at Western Center Boulevard.
An officer there was directing drivers into a parking lot where they were asked for samples of saliva, breath, and blood for the survey.
The Fort Worth Police Department said this was all voluntary and those who participated were paid.
However, the department said it has received complaints from drivers saying it was inconvenient and questioning whether what was done was legal.
”How can they do that?” said Debbie Sheffield. “What gives them the right to pull people over that are driving down the street that are minding their own business on a time schedule?”
Sheffield said she saw the roadblock on Friday far enough ahead that she was able to cut through a parking lot to avoid it.
She said she was disappointed when she later found out what was going on.
“I can’t believe that that’s happening and the police are a part of it,” she said.
A spokesperson for the police department told CBS11 News the case is being reviewed to determine if off-duty policies were properly followed.