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Panel of national experts to review Fort Worth Police Department

The review of the police department is expected to continue for several months, according to city manager David Cooke.
Credit: Fort Worth Police
Fort Worth Police

FORT WORTH, Texas — A panel of national experts has been selected to review the Fort Worth Police Department's policies and practices. City Manager David Cooke made the announcement Friday in a news release.

The announcement comes less than a month after a white Fort Worth police officer shot a black woman in her home after a neighbor called a non-emergency police line because he was concerned.

Following the death of Atatiana Jefferson, residents protested in the streets and showed up at city council meetings demanding an outside review of the police department.

In the email announcement, Cooke explained that the panel will be made up of a group of national experts who will recommend changes to “improve and retain public trust and confidence," according to the news release. 

Dr. Theron L. Bowen and Dr. Alex del Carmen will lead the panel. The panel includes six other members: Lynda Garcia, Emily Gunston, Tom Petroski, Jonathan Smith, Marcia Thompson and Dr. Rita Watkins. 

The members have experience working in civil rights, law enforcement and law.

“First and foremost, I want to again express my complete confidence in Chief Kraus and the leadership team at the Fort Worth Police Department,” Cooke said. “To that end, I acknowledge that 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.”

RELATED: 'We have to do better': Citizens, leaders address hurt and racial tension after Atatiana Jefferson's death

Cooke will present the recommendations Tuesday at a City Council work session. 

Then at a Nov. 19 City Council meeting, Cooke will place a resolution to approve the creation of the panel. 

The review of the police department is expected to last several months. You can view reports and updates here. 

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