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Northeast Times | July 14, 2020

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Newly-established Office of the Police Oversight Monitor stands ready to assist residents

Newly-established Office of the Police Oversight Monitor stands ready to assist residents

Whether residents have concerns regarding alleged misconduct by Fort Worth Police Department personnel or want to share accolades about officers, the city’s Office of the Police Oversight Monitor is open and ready to hear from them.

Earlier this year, Kim Neal was named the City of Fort Worth’s police monitor and is responsible for leading the effort to finalize the model to be used for independent review of the Fort Worth Police Department. The office’s establishment stemmed from a recommendation made by Fort Worth’s Task Force on Race and Culture.

Key components of the Office of the Police Oversight Monitor will include:

  • Complaint/commendation intake, review, audit and mediation.
  • FWPD policies/procedures/practices review and analysis.
  • Community engagement/information dissemination regarding the office and its components.
  • Public affairs including participating in speaking engagements and responding to requests.
  • Periodic reporting providing statistics, noting patterns and other noteworthy items as well as summarizing activities for previous year as a part of annual reporting.
  • Collaborated problem-solving efforts.

Some key activities that the office has performed in its three months of existence include:

  • Reviewing and benchmarking the creation, structure and naming of the office.
  • Collaborating with community members, FWPD and city officials regarding their outlook surrounding civilian oversight and its impact on improving community/police relationship.
  • Hired both a deputy police oversight monitor and an office administrator who will serve as the gatekeeper.
  • Commenced reviewing allegations of police misconduct.
  • Created an intake form that will be provided shortly for community members to address FWPD concerns.
  • Reviewing relevant FWPD policies, procedures and practices as well as benchmarking analyses across the country. So far this has included reviews of community policing and engagement; Internal Affairs and chain of command intakes, reviews and investigations; training; use of force reviews; FWPD policy management and community interactions.
  • Establishing protocols with FWPD to access information related to resident contacts, complaints, uses of force, critical incidents, etc.
  • Working to create an internal intake management system to track key intake elements like demographic data, complaint allegations and circumstances in order to identify trends and patterns in order to collaborate on addressing root causes and recommend next steps including problem-solving measures.
  • Collaborating with the Independent Expert Panel, hired by the City in November 2019 to review police policies and practices and provide recommendations on changes the FWPD should implement to improve and retain public trust and confidence.