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Police chief suggests adding six commander positions

Posted Nov. 7, 2017

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Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald recommends adding six commander positions to the ranks, allowing the department to select officers who possess the leadership skills, intellect, experience and dedication to build and maintain relationships in the community.

Fitzgerald presented his reorganization recommendations to the City Council during a work session on Tuesday.

Under Fitzgerald’s plan, a commander would be assigned to each of the six police patrol divisions as the highest-ranking uniformed officer.

The Meet and Confer agreement signed by the Fort Worth Police Officers’ Association in June included the rank of commander. The agreement provides the chief the authority to add six appointed, exempt employees between the rank of captain and deputy chief.

The total annual cost to fund six commanders is $1.2 million. The Police Department has identified funding sources for the positions for the FY18 budget year.

Fitzgerald said that officers who hope to reach the commander rank must have a proven record of leadership and service to the department; respect for subordinates, superiors and peers; insightful judgment, strong communication skills, knowledge beyond book learning, continuous self-improvement, approachable demeanor, service before self, a strong commitment to improve the department; and the ability to work with a group to accomplish a goal.

The new positions will create promotional opportunities and will allow for better span of control, management oversight and accountability. These new positions will also allow leadership to have a concentrated focus on first line supervision and will provide better communication throughout the chain of command.

“Commanders allow me to base promotion decisions on performance in commands and my observations of their interactions with City Council and residents,” Chief Fitzgerald said. “I will expect higher performance from those appointed to these positions and of their patrol commands and these appointed positions ensure they continue to demonstrate leadership consistent with our unified mission.”

Police Department representatives have met with Police Officers Association (POA) representatives, and while the POA acknowledges the commander rank was a negotiated component of the meet and confer contract, and the chief has a right to create that rank, the association remains neutral to the idea. The POA neither actively supports nor opposes the creation of the commander rank.

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Canceled City Council Work Session: 3 p.m. June 19, 2018; City Hall, Second Floor, Council Conference Room 290, 200 Texas Street.

Canceled City Council Meeting: 7 p.m. June 19, 2018; City Hall, Second Floor, Council Chambers, 200 Texas Street.

Commerical Board of Adjustment Work Session: 9 a.m. June 20, 2018; Council Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Commercial Board of Adjustment Public Hearing: 10 a.m. June 20, 2018; Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Residential Board of Adjustment Work Session: 12:30 p.m. June 20, 2018; Council Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Residential Board of Adjustment Public Hearing: 1:30 p.m. June 20, 2018; Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Budget Stakeholder's Meeting: 3 p.m. June 20, 2018; Budget Stakeholder's Meeting, 200 Texas Street, Fort Worth, TX 76102.

Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone Number Nine (Trinity River Vision TIF) Board of Directors: 4 p.m. June 20, 2018; Ideal Works, 2nd Floor Conference Room, 600 Rosedale.
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North Hi Mount Streetlights Project Meeting: 6 p.m. June 20, 2018; University of North Texas Science Center Carl E. Everett Education & Administration Building, Room 291, 3500 Camp Bowie Blvd.

Urban Design Commission Work Session: 9:30 a.m. June 21, 2018; City Hall, second floor, Council Conference Room 290, 200 Texas Street.
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Urban Design Commission Public Hearing: 10 a.m. June 21, 2018; City Hall, second floor, Council Conference Room 290, 200 Texas Street.
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Canceled City of Fort Worth “Monthly Informational Forum for M/WBEs”: 11:30 a.m. June 21, 2018; James E. Guinn Entrepreneurial Campus - Fort Worth Business Assistance Center, 1150 South Freeway.

Community Action Partners Council: 1:30 p.m. June 21, 2018; Fort Worth City Credit Union, First Floor Board Room, 2309 Montgomery Street.
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Fort Worth Housing Solutions Regular Meeting: 5 p.m. June 21, 2018; FWHS Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 East 13th Street.
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Trinity River Public Facility Corporation Special Meeting: 5 p.m. June 21, 2018; FWHS Administrative Office Board Room, 120 East 13th Street.
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North Beach Street Streetlights Project Meeting: 6 p.m. June 21, 2018; Lakeland Street Baptist Church, 3551 cindy Drive.

Ridglea Area Infrastructure Improvements Project Meeting: 6:30 p.m. June 21, 2018; R.D. Evans Community Center, 3242 Lackland Road.

Minority and Women Business Enterprise Advisory Committee: 1 p.m. June 22, 2018; James E. Guinn Building, 1st Floor, PharmaFab Conference Room #116, 1150 South Freeway.
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Fort Worth Housing Solutions Board of Directors - Notice of Possible Quorum: 15th Annual City of Fort Worth Housing Summit: 8:30 a.m. June 23, 2018; Cendera Center, 3600 Benbrook Highway.
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Swimming Lessons - Registration begins for Session 2: 9 a.m. June 23, 2018; Forest Park Pool, 2850 Park Place Ave.
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Crud Cruiser Mobile Waste Collection: 9 a.m. June 23, 2018; Riverside Community Center , 3700 E. Belknap St.

Crud Cruiser Mobile Waste Collection: noon June 23, 2018; Hazel Harvey Peace Center , 818 Missouri Ave.

Building Standards Commission Pre-Meeting: 9 a.m. June 25, 2018; City Hall, second floor, Council Conference Room 290, 200 Texas Street.
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Building Standards Commission Meeting: 9:30 a.m. June 25, 2018; City Hall, second floor, Council Chamber, 200 Texas Street.
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