FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – The Fort Worth Police Department sent CBS 11 News an update on policy reform efforts it has collaborated on with a panel of experts since December of 2019.

The panel shared observations and recommendations with the department as they identified them. And from that partnership, the department said is has already adopted several of the identified recommendations and is currently working on several others.

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Some of the changes that have were already implemented, or are underway include:

  • Additions to its Use of Force Policy and General Orders to enhance accountability and further clarify de-escalation and duty to intervene expectations, recognizing that these are serious policy violations when not followed.
  • Changes pertaining to investigating and classifying civilian complaints. Effective since the start of June 2020, all citizen complaints are assigned a complaint number by Internal Affairs for accurate tracking.
  • Final phase of the implementation of an early warning system that will facilitate the identification of officers who may be a risk for misconduct. The program is designed to identify employees who may be facing professional or personal difficulties that are affecting their work performance and who may need some form of support, guidance, or assistance.The overall objective is to intervene early to avoid any negative conduct.

The department said it has also created and is working to expand a Mental Health Crisis Intervention Team that partners with non-law enforcement mental health personnel to provide services. They’re also working to identify funding to provide Mental Health Peace Officer training and certification to every eligible officer.

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Furthermore, the department said it’s researching other agencies nationwide, evaluating how to most effectively divert non-police calls directly to mental health providers.

Chief Kraus will provide a more complete briefing to the Mayor and Council following the presentation by the panel at the City Council work session on Tuesday, Aug. 4.

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