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Proposed Fiscal 2021 CCPD budget reflects new and expanded crime prevention initiatives

Posted Aug. 14, 2020 | Last updated Aug. 17, 2020

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Increased spending with community partners and the expansion of the Fort Worth Police Department’s crisis intervention team are among several significant changes recommended in the Fiscal 2021 Crime Control and Prevention District (CCPD) budget.

CCPD monies will also create a 10-member Community Service Professional Program made up of civilian employees, designate $1 million for a citywide camera program and pay for a cadet recruitment and training program, according to the proposed budget released Friday.

The proposed Fiscal 2021 budget reflects a realignment of CCPD and Police Department funding, done to clarify spending and re-emphasize the district’s commitment to crime prevention. The proposed Fiscal 2021 budget is $86.5 million. The City Council and the CCPD board, consisting of the City Council members, are slated to approve the budget by Sept. 15.

In the proposed budget, monies spent on neighborhood crime prevention increase $4.5 million, to $7.1 million, and $2 million is designated for programs that improve communities, up from $250,000 this year. The new budget reduces spending on equipment and enhanced enforcement by $7.5 million.

Police Chief Ed Kraus said the proposed budget includes some community ideas for initiatives suggested in recent months.

“We recognize there’s a lot of opportunity for improvement,” Kraus said. “We are responding to community input. We’re going to expand on some successful programs and create new opportunities.”

The crisis intervention team will increase to 20 officers from eight, or enough officers to cover two shifts, seven days a week. The team will work with mental health providers to establish procedures for handling calls and all Fort Worth officers will be trained and certified as Mental Health Peace Officers. The department is also creating a Mental Health Advisory Board to guide policy for calls involving an individual in mental crisis and are looking into a mental health diversion center with Tarrant County.

The Community Service Professional Program will consist of 10 nonsworn civilians who will respond to nonemergency calls, such as helping stranded motorists, animal-related issues, calls where no suspect is on the scene and welfare checks.

In other changes, new officer recruitment and training costs are being moved to the Police Department’s budget from the CCPD as will the salaries of 52 officers on the SWAT, Crime Tracking Unit and Special Response Teams. Likewise, 73 positions from the department budget will move to the CCPD budget, among them the HOPE homeless team, the crisis intervention team, bike patrols and the cadet program.

The Police Department budget is part of the city’s general fund. The proposed Fiscal 2021 police budget increases to $273 million from $267 million in Fiscal 2020. Fort Worth’s fiscal year runs Oct. 1-Sept. 30.

The CCPD, first approved by voters in 1995 to supplement the police budget, receives a half-cent of the city’s sales tax. In July, voters renewed the district for 10 years.

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