Editorials

FW police, chief must stick to their contract

THE EDITORIAL BOARD

Fort Worth Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald, shown during a press conference earlier this month, has been accused of “bullying and intimidation tactics” by the Fort Worth Police Officers Association.
Fort Worth Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald, shown during a press conference earlier this month, has been accused of “bullying and intimidation tactics” by the Fort Worth Police Officers Association. kbouaphanh@star-telegram.com

The Fort Worth Police Officers Association is in a heated dispute with Chief Joel Fitzgerald and members of his command staff — and they want City Manager David Cooke to take the POA’s side in this fight?

That’s not gonna happen.

It is truly lamentable that things have reached this point. The POA has sent Cooke a letter accusing Fitzgerald and others of “bullying and intimidation tactics” in handling a grievance about two officers hired from other cities and admitted to what’s called the Lateral Entry Officer academy class.

The grievance, filed last month, says that two officers in the department’s Background Unit raised concerns about potential police labor contract violations connected with the hires and were transferred in retaliation.

The association alleges that Fitzgerald met with members of the Background Unit and “attempted to intimidate them into agreeing with his actions.”

The POA also says that Fitzgerald and members of his command staff became “very hostile” in another meeting with the Background Unit and disparaged the association and the two transferred officers.

The association’s complaints must be taken very seriously. Still, the letter’s request that Cooke issue a formal cease-and-desist order to the chief is ludicrous.

If Cooke has anything to say to the chief, he’ll say it to his face and the chief will act accordingly.

Just as important, it’s the terms of the labor contract between the city and police that must rule this dispute.

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