Hurst police officers to help out in Arlington

HURST -- If you see Hurst police officers patrolling around Arlington this week, they're not lost.

The Hurst City Council has signed off on sending off-duty officers to Arlington if they're needed to help during the Super Bowl and beyond.

"They're seeking interlocal agreements with cities around them to task us to provide officers to assist, and they would reimburse us," said Hurst Assistant Police Chief Mark Schwobel.

Arlington Assistant Police Chief James Hawthorne said the measure is similar to mutual-aid agreements that allow police officers to cross city lines in emergencies. The difference is that this one is being planned in advance.

Cowboys Stadium regularly hires off-duty officers from neighboring cities' departments to provide increased security and help direct traffic on game days. Hawthorne said that those officers may be enough for the Super Bowl, but if not, others might be called in.

Hawthorne said Arlington solicited agreements with 20 agencies.

"Of those, we got letters of agreement from D/FW Airport, Haltom City, Lancaster and Tarrant County Sheriff's" Department, he said.

One of those who declined, Euless Police Chief Mike Brown, said he didn't present the request to the city council, because "it didn't fit our needs."

Schwobel said the agreement establishes a partnership that will last beyond the Super Bowl. However, getting on-duty Hurst officers into Arlington requires more than a phone call; Arlington must submit an addendum to the agreement each time it needs help.

Hurst City Manager Allan Weegar said that he would ensure that the addendum includes reimbursement. He assured council members that the agreement works both ways.

"If we have an event at the [Hurst] Conference Center that we need help with, they'll come and help us," he said.

Hurst Police Chief Steve Moore told the council that he sometimes has enough officers on patrol that a few could be sent to Arlington, but that he would never allow Hurst to be insufficiently protected.

Terry Evans, 817-390-7620