The Public Safety Section serves as general legal counsel to the Fort Worth Police Department and the Fort Worth Fire Department. The attorneys advise officers on a variety of topics, including laws of arrest, searches and constitutional issues. Specific job duties are to:
- Issue legal opinions and legal bulletins, as requested by FWPD and FWFD.
- Review FWPD and FWFD subpoenas and requests for Public Information.
- Teach recruit officers various legal courses, including Penal Code, Code of Criminal Procedure, and the Criminal Justice System.
- Handle expunction cases.
- Attend administrative staff briefings and other meetings.
The Public Safety Section also handles claims and defends lawsuits involving allegations of federal civil rights violations and state-law torts allegedly committed by Fort Worth police officers or other city employees. The section handles the lawsuits from initial service of process on the city or employee through final disposition, including appeal.
The section advises the Human Resources Department and other city departments on employment issues, reviews administrative directive and personnel rule changes and assists city departments in employment related investigations.
In addition, the section advises the city manager on issues related to the Employees’ Retirement Fund of the City of Fort Worth.
The prosecutors in the Public Safety Division prosecute all traffic citations and violations of municipal ordinances with criminal penalties, including some code-compliance cases and are responsible for appearing on various dockets set in eight courtrooms. The prosecutors also handle civil proceedings in municipal court such as towing cases, dangerous animal cases, appeals of red-light camera and parking civil-penalty cases.