Fort Worth

Fort Worth police ordered to respond to calls in pairs for safety

Fort Worth police officers are required to respond to calls in pairs, according to a precautionary order issued Monday.
Fort Worth police officers are required to respond to calls in pairs, according to a precautionary order issued Monday. Star-Telegram

Police officers in Fort Worth will be required to respond to calls in pairs for the “foreseeable future” after several shootings of police across the country over the weekend, said Sgt. Marc Povero, police spokesman Monday.

“They normally do that,” Povero said. “On some occasions, they will advise of a call [on their own]. Now, they’re not allowed to advise. They actually have to go with a second officer.”

The department’s order, which was sent to officers on Monday, follows the killing of San Antonio police Det. Benjamin Marconi, who was shot in his squad car while writing a ticket Sunday morning.

Authorities were still searching Monday for the suspect, who was seen on surveillance video at police headquarters hours before Marconi was killed.

“I think the uniform was the target and the first person that happened along was the first person that (the suspect) targeted,” San Antonio police Chief William McManus said at a news conference Monday morning.

Three other officers were shot and wounded in Missouri and Florida on Sunday, according to the Associated Press.

One of the shootings, in St. Louis, was described as an ambush.

“This officer was driving down the road and was ambushed by an individual who pointed a gun at him from inside of his car and shot out the police officer's window,” St. Louis police Chief Sam Dotson said.

The officer, a sergeant, was released from the hospital Monday.

This month, 14 police officers have been fatally shot nationwide, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page, which tracks line of duty deaths. For the year, 58 officers have been fatally shot in the line of duty, including Euless police Officer David Hofer, who was killed in March.

Fort Worth police issued a similar precautionary order in July after five police officers were fatally shot in downtown Dallas. In the summer, Fort Worth officers were required to double up in patrol cars. The order was eased after a few weeks, Povero said.

This time, “we don’t know how long this will last,” Povero said.

In Dallas, interim police Chief David Pughes “reminded our officers to take extreme caution as they perform their duties,” according to the Dallas Morning News.

Pughes said officers are “approved and encouraged” to patrol in pairs.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.