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Independent expert panel releases preliminary review of Police Department

Posted July 31, 2020

An independent panel of national experts that spent months reviewing Fort Worth Police Department policies has provided its preliminary observations and recommendations on changes the department should implement to improve and retain public trust and confidence.

The purpose for this panel is to review police interactions with the public during investigative stops, searches, arrests, de-escalation and use-of-force incidents. The panel looked at police policies, operational interactions with the public, training, documentation, accountability systems, corrective and reporting procedures, and technology applications. The review has included meetings and listening sessions with community members, community groups and police personnel.

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the review is taking longer than originally planned. The panel will continue its work through the fall.

The independent panel review was initiated and appointed by City Manager David Cooke following the death of Atatiana Jefferson.

“Every organization can benefit from having an independent group of experts review policies and procedures to see where we can improve the work we do with, and for, our community,” Cooke said.

The panel was led by Alex del Carmen and Theron L. Bowman, both experts with strong local and national ties who also have extensive police reform experience.

View an executive summary and the panel’s complete preliminary report.

del Carmen and Bowman will present the panel’s preliminary observations and recommendations at 3 p.m. Aug. 4 during the City Council work session. The panel will continue to engage in additional document review, interviews, data analysis and community meetings in the coming months.

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