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Baltimore continues to vet Fort Worth chief for its commissioner position

Reps acting on behalf of Baltimore are in Fort Worth this week, conducting interviews and background inquiries into Fort Worth Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald.
Credit: WFAA
Dr. Joel Fitzgerald was introduced as Fort Worth's new police chief on Sept. 29, 2015.

FORT WORTH, Texas — Representatives acting on behalf of the City of Baltimore are in Fort Worth this week, conducting interviews and background inquiries into Fort Worth Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald.

Fort Worth Police Officers Association President Manny Ramirez confirmed he met with a third-party investigator on Monday.

Other department and city sources said community and city officials were also being interviewed.

Word leaked earlier this month that Fitzgerald was exploring other opportunities, specifically applying for the commissioner’s position in Baltimore some three years after taking over as Cowtown’s top cop.

Fitzgerald has not resigned, and Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh recently told Baltimore media outlets no final decisions have been made.

A request for comment wasn’t immediately returned by Pugh’s office on Tuesday.

One high-ranking Fort Worth source said the additional vetting shows Fitzgerald is still “a top guy” for the position, but added the entire process remained fluid.

Most recently, Fitzgerald helped lead Fort Worth's men and women in blue through the on-duty shooting death of Ofc. Garrett Hull.

He was also in charge during the department's controversial handling of the arrest of Jacqueline Craig, which brought to the surface racial tension between police and the city's African American community.

A Fort Worth police spokesman said the chief wasn’t available to comment.

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price's office said she wasn't part of the interview and consultation process. The chief previously told the mayor he was interviewing for the position.