The six finalists for Fort Worth police chief each bring more than 20 years of policing experience to the table, some with smooth sailing and others with a few bumps along the way.
All are seeking the top job during one of the most difficult times in recent history for police in the U.S., a painful period that began with the police shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., in 2014 and the civil unrest that followed.
“We’re looking for the best candidate that can lead us through the turbulent waters ahead,” said Rick Van Houten, Fort Worth Police Officers Association president. “There’s obviously controversy in the United States surrounding law enforcement.”
Former Fort Worth Chief Jeff Halstead worked with the two in-house candidates, Abdul Pridgen and Kenneth Dean. He had praise for them both, Pridgen for his communication skills and Dean for dynamic thinking.
In terms of diversity, one candidate is Latino, two are African-American and three are Anglo. All face a tough job in tough times.
“You are literally a morning away from a crisis that is going to ruin your career,” Halstead said. “Today if you don’t respond the day of the incident forecasting some kind of result you literally can be fired very, very quickly. When the controversy is in your backyard no elected official is going to stand up and take the lead. It’s the chief.”
To submit questions online for Thursday night’s forum, go here. (http://bit.ly/1OzHkyT)
Stories about each of them are linked both above and below in Related Content.