FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) — The Fort Worth Police Department made it official Thursday and announced that former Interim Police Chief Ed Kraus accepted the position on a permanent basis.
But, many community members are frustrated by the announcement because the city didn’t conduct a national search, or even consider any other internal candidates for the role.
Many told CBS 11’s Caroline Vandergriff that they felt like they were shut out of the process.
New Mount Rose Missionary Baptist Church Pastor Kyev Tatum said he was embarrassed for the city.
“Very, very, very disappointed,” Tatum said.
Several community organizers were also frustrated by the announcement, but say it has nothing to do with Kraus — but how the city handled the process.
“If you want to create a city that focuses on diversity and inclusion, it doesn’t start by excluding people from a very important process, which is choosing the chief of police,” Daniel Rodriguez of United Fort Worth said.
However, City Manager David Cooke said he felt like he got plenty of community feedback about Kraus.
“We’ve received so many positive comments about his leadership, about his transparency, about his being visible in the community,” Cooke said.
That’s why he said he felt confident offering Kraus the job… without opening up a search.
Kraus said he knows the department needs to improve community relationships, especially after the fatal shooting of a 28-year-old woman in her own home.
“After the Atatiana Jeferson shooting, that knocked us back several flights of stairs if we’re talking about building trust,” he said.
Jefferson’s cousin, Michael Sneed, came to the announcement to personally shake Kraus’s hand.
“I saw it on the news and thought, well, ‘Hey, I need to go over and say thank you and congratulate him, and let the people of Fort Worth know they’ve got a great man,'” Sneed said.
Next week, the city council will vote on a resolution in support of the decision to keep Kraus as chief, and several community members plan to be there to express their concerns.