Just a week after taking the helm of the Fort Worth Police Department, interim chief Edwin Kraus said morale was improving and engagement with citizens was his top priority.
Kraus was formally sworn in as interim chief Tuesday during a special City Council session where he received praise from Mayor Betsy Price and the president of the police officer’s association. Kraus told the Star-Telegram last week he was considering applying for the position, but hasn’t made a decision. In the meantime, he said, he will push for continued engagement with residents, particularly though youth events, and seek feedback from patrol officers.
“I’ve been told the morale is on the up tick, and I want to keep that momentum,” he said. “Happy officers make for happy citizens.”
Kraus has nearly 30 years on the force in Fort Worth, and Price said he would bring “such a needed healing.”
City Manager David Cooke last week fired former chief Joel Fitzgerald after a series of controversies, including a confrontation between Fitzgerald and the president of the state’s police association during an event honoring officers in Washington, D.C.
“I know you’re going to step up and everyone is so excited you’re here,” Price said.
Manny Ramirez, president of the police officers association, said Kraus brought a new level of motivation to officers and had set a positive tone within the department. His 26 years with the department would be an asset to engaging the community, Ramirez said.
“He’s a chief that makes it very easy to work with him,” he said.