Abdul Pridgen brings more than 20 years of experience within the Fort Worth Police Department to his bid for the top job.
He was commissioned as a Fort Worth officer in 1992, a year after he was honorably discharged from the Navy. Pridgen was stationed in Japan, and served in the first Iraq War. His first experience in police work was with the Fort Worth, where he’s now assistant chief of finance and personnel.
Pridgen, 47, supervises 174 employees, oversees a $270 million budget and is responsible for many department operations: financial management, program support, employment services, policy management and safety, public safety support, fleet services, centralized police payroll, peer support and military liaison functions.
“He has outstanding communication skills,” former Fort Worth police chief Jeffrey Halstead said. “He's just an outstanding communicator. It's extremely vital [as a chief], because you have to remember, many times you're dealing with people who are not happy with what's happening in their community.”
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Pridgen could not be reached for comment.
His personnel file, obtained by the Star-Telegram through an open records request, includes one disciplinary incident from 2002, when he fell asleep at the wheel of his city-leased vehicle and struck a guardrail. Pridgen, a narcotics sergeant at the time, was on his way home just past midnight after conducting a monthly check of where his personnel parked their vehicles after hours, according to department records.
The estimated damage to the vehicle was $13,886. Pridgen agreed to the deletion of one day from his accumulated leave balance as punishment.
Promoted from captain to deputy chief in 2009 and to assistant chief in 2011, he has received five commendations.
As a lieutenant in 2005, Pridgen helped coordinate media activities for the funeral of Officer Hank Nava, who was fatally shot while trying to serve a felony warrant.
“Your efforts ensured the honor and respect deserving of Officer Nava was bestowed upon him and his family,” Pridgen's supervisor, Lieutenant Billy Cordell, wrote in a commendation letter.
He was also praised for the execution of a drug bust in 2002 and a presentation at a Citizen’s Police Academy in 1994.
Pridgen, who was born and raised in the Bronx, N.Y., brings a unique perspective to the department, Halstead said.
“He has a totally different viewpoint,” Halstead said. “He's actually from New York, but he totally embraces how the Fort Worth department has a unique partnership with the city.”
Pridgen earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Dallas Baptist University. He's also a graduate of the Southern Police Institute and the FBI National Academy.
Ryan Osborne, 817-390-7684
Past jobs: deputy chief, captain, lieutenant, sergeant, currently assistant chief, Fort Worth
Education: bachelor of arts in criminal justice, Dallas Baptist University.