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					          4th Quarter - 2009

4th Quarter 2009 - Page 1
                                             4th Quarter - 2009
                                       Fort Worth Police Officers Association
                                                904 Collier Street
                                             Fort Worth, Texas 76102
                                              Office: (817)870-2171
                                               Fax: (817)870-1103

                                                    Executive Board

PRESIDENT                                                     VICE PRESIDENT
Rick Van Houten                     (817)614-5031             Steve Hall                            (817)980-0526
Corporal, FWPOA                                               Sergeant, NPD 2
SECRETARY                                                     TREASURER
Kevin Foster                        (817)996-7752             John Kerr                             (817)925-5402
Sergeant, NPD 2                                               Officer, Traffic/Motors
Robin Krouse                        (817)903-7751
                                            GENERAL DIRECTORS

Shelby Meza                         (817)713-7990             Joanie Gray                           (817)879-1197
Scott Keenum                        (817)228-8448             Dean Gilliam                          (817)999-9511
Russell Rosenstein                  (817)475-2033             Marc Povero                           (817)372-6777
Phyllis Perez                       (817)929-8241

                                                FOB DIRECTORS

Jon Bayer                           (817)915-0132             Javier Valdez                         (817)475-3613
Officer, North Division                                       Officer, South Division
Lloyd Cook                          (817)683-2855             Charles Gonzalez                      (817)228-6847
Officer, East Division                                        Officer, West Division
Lindsey Bowden                      817-614-9678
Officer, Central Division

                                  CONTACT/TELEPHONE NUMBERS

CHAPLAIN                                             BUILDING MANAGER
Mitchale Felder             (817)475-6385            Robin Krouse                 (817)903-7751
Officer, FWPD Chaplain                                                                             The opinions stated in the
                                                                                                   Signal 50 are those of the
                                                                                                   individual writer and not
OFFICE MANAGER                                                                                     necessarily the opinion of the
Kristin Smith               (817)870-2171            CLEAT                                         non-profit Fort Worth Police
                                                     Critical Incident Call Out   (817)882-9543    Officers Association or the
                                                                                                   Board of Directors. This
                                                     After Hours                  (800)752-5328
                                                                                                   Publication serves as a
SIGNAL 50 EDITOR                                     Richard Carter               (817)988-6710    communication device and as
M.A. Schwesig                                        Chris Barrett                (682) 365-7781   an open forum for the                                                                          membership of the Association.
                                                                                                   The Signal 50 is published
                                                                                                   monthly at the request of the

                                            Signal 50 - Page 2
      From The President.........
Year in Review

While attending the Fort Worth budget retreat, I had the opportunity to reflect on
all the things that we as Fort Worth Police Officers have to be thankful for. We
work in a city that respects what we do on a daily basis. We have the support
of our city leaders and that of the citizens we protect. Nowhere else in this
country have I seen this combination. We are truly fortunate. The key to this
support is the fact that the men and women of the Fort Worth Police Department
are professionals and they consistently work towards the goal of making Fort
Worth the safest major city in the United States. Additionally, the Fort Worth
Police Officers’ Association has worked very hard to help bring this support
together. As an organization, we were influential in all of the major personnel selections over the past 2 years.

I have been criticized lately by a few members who think that I have become too close to Mayor Moncrief and Chief
Halstead. I have said from the very beginning of my tenure as your President that I will build relationships. I have done
what I set out to do. I, and the Fort Worth Police Officer’s Association, now have a good working relationship with
Mayor Moncrief, Chief Halstead, City Manager Fisseler, Assistant City Manager Higgins and most of the members of
the City Council. That is how things get done in Fort Worth. Due to these cooperative relationships with our city
leaders, we have been able to accomplish many of our organizations goals. The attainment of these goals has
benefitted every member of the Fort Worth Police Officers Association. Adversarial relationships do not benefit
anyone; cooperative relationships benefit everyone.

Please do not misunderstand me. If there comes a time when the cooperative relationships break down or are not
effective for a specific issue, we can and we will fight for our member’s rights and benefits. The entire Board of
Directors has built these relationships as your representatives - not as individuals or for their own benefit. These
relationships are built on trust and honesty. If I or the Board of Directors are to be criticized for building solid relationships
that benefit the FWPOA membership as a whole then so be it. I would rather be effective and be criticized by a few
rather than be adversarial and ineffective in protecting the benefits that the Police Officers in the City of Fort Worth

During the last 2 years, the FWPOA has successfully bargained a contract that secures your benefits, guarantees
step raises, and brings top pay down to the 16 year step. We have been instrumental in assisting Chief Halstead in
reforming the Police Department. The way in which discipline is handed out is being completely overhauled. Politically,
we have had great success in assisting our allies in their election campaigns. Organizationally, we have been
extremely successful in taking care of Fort Worth Police Officers which is the very purpose our organization was
formed to do. I am proud of all of the hard work that this organization does on your behalf and I will ensure that we
continue to diligently work in the future.

Rumor Control

We have received some negative media recently over our contract and our contractually guaranteed pay structure.
This criticism has come from the media as well as from within the various city employee groups. Amongst this
criticism are some very inaccurate rumors.

It was rumored and even printed in the media that Austin and El Paso gave up their 2010 raises for the good of all
employees. The fact of the matter is that Austin delayed their 2.75% raise and secured more years of their contract
with even more guaranteed years of pay increases. Austin is currently the top paid police department in our market.
They also secured 1700 hours of sick leave separation pay as well as many more lucrative items. El Paso simply
delayed receiving there raise for 4 months in exchange for a 2 year extension on their health care coverage which is an
extremely generous plan. Both Austin and El Paso successfully bargained additional benefits for their officers in

                                    4th Quarter 2009 - Page 3
exchange for concessions on their pay plans. In the end, both memberships and city councils ratified the deals before
they could take effect.

There may come a time when we are officially asked in writing by the City Manager to re-enter bargaining talks in order
to give the city some relief during a future budget. This was not done this year even though there were a couple of
elected officials that made behind the scenes requests. It may even come as early as next year. The simple fact of
the matter is that it did not happen this year. When it does, we will sit down at the table with the city in good faith and
work toward a mutually agreeable solution after which you, the member, will have the final say.


The Crime Control and Prevention District tax (CCPD) is back on the ballot this November for another 5 year renewal.
The CCPD generates approximately 50 million dollars annually for the City of Fort Worth and specifically for the Fort
Worth Police Department. The FWPOA is in support of this 5 year renewal and encourages everyone to support it
also. Every time the CCPD has come up for renewal in the past, the successful passage can always be attributed to
a few groups of people. It is due to the hard work of the FWPOA, Citizens on Patrol, Code: Blue, CAPA, MAC, and the
Fort Worth Police Officers themselves that the initiative continues to pass every 5 years. Remember that every call
you go on you will be interacting with a potential voter.

FWPOA Board Elections

As it is at the end of every year, it is time for the FWPOA Board Elections. This is your opportunity to vote for your
representation on the FWPOA Board of Directors or if you so choose, to run for a position yourself. Up for election this
year are the President, Treasurer, and all General Board members as well as the Divisional Representatives and the
Civilian position. In order to be eligible to run for any of the positions, you must have attended at least 7 monthly
membership meetings prior to December and if you wish to run for the position of Treasurer, you must have at least
one year of experience on the board itself. This truly is your opportunity to show your approval or disapproval for any
of the current board members that choose to run for office again. I hope that you take this opportunity and make your
vote count. Typically there is less than half of the membership that actually casts a vote. I hope that we can change
that number and get the majority of members to get involved by at least voting.

As always, take care of yourself and take care of each other.

Rick Van Houten

                                         Signal 50 - Page 4
In My Kevin Foster
These last few months have been trying for our police department. Small but
vocal groups have been bashing the FWPD on a couple of issues, most notably
about bar. In each of these areas, we have had a chance to watch other police
agencies, our city council, and our own department at work and have had a
chance to watch several styles of leadership develop.

I wanted to comment on this and started looking for some definitions of leadership
to help define what I have witnessed in our community. I found a number of
different types of leadership and their individual characteristics. Each of these
forms of leadership had a few things in common. They were:
    •   leaders focus on people,

    •   leaders do the right things,

    •   leaders develop,

    •   leaders inspire trust,

    •   leaders have long-term perspective, and

    •   leaders have an eye on the horizon.
I also found a quote that I think applies to the situation. It is:

“Unimpeachable integrity is the greatest asset a police administrator can have. Without it your other
qualifications and attributes are meaningless.”
— Dr. Curtis McClung

What I was unable to find was any form of leadership where it is recommended that a leader endeavor to throw their
employees under the bus and then back up over them a few times in order to make their agency be perceived as
progressive, politically correct, and responsive to a community’s needs. Sadly, this is precisely what we have recently
witnessed take place in the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

Before the dust even settled from the bar check of June 28, two TABC agents were on desk duty and a supervisor had
been forced to retire. All this before an investigation had even been started! This was not leadership by the head of this
organization. This was a blatant attempt to appease the news media and a small segment of the community by
ending the careers of three law enforcement officers. It was nothing more than a knee jerk reaction to a tough
situation. The TABC follow-up was to fire the agents involved, including the trainee. Did the head of the TABC show
unimpeachable integrity, develop or focus on his personnel, inspire trust or even have a long term perspective? Obviously
not. While some may disagree with my opinion, I believe the head of this agency showed little more than administrative
cowardice. Leadership has taken a vacation at the TABC and has yet to return.

On the other hand, FWPD Chief Jeff Halstead took a different approach than that of the TABC. Chief Halstead found
out what happened, spoke with his supervisors and officers, and began an in depth and detailed investigation into the
bar check. There was no pandering to the community and newspaper and there was no knee-jerk reaction aimed at
ending or damaging any officer’s career. Instead, Chief Halstead immediately promised the community and the news
media that there would be answers to the questions asked, policies would be addressed, and that the police department
would work with the diverse groups represented to develop programs to ensure better relations in the future. Chief
Halstead is keeping his promises and has shown his commitment to his own integrity and that of the FWPD. No one
has been thrown under the bus in our department and I don’t believe they will be.

After watching Chief Halstead’s handling of this situation, I am once again thankful that the City Council and our City
Manager made the wise choice in hiring Chief Halstead to lead our police department.

                                   4th Quarter 2009 - Page 5
In Other News……….

On August 20 and 21, the majority of the FWPOA board of directors attended the City of Fort Worth budget retreat. It
was evident in listening to the numerous presentations that some department have been cut to the bone. Some
employees are being furloughed while others are being laid off. On the other hand, the city is still banking millions of
dollars in their Barnett Shale trust fund and at the time of this article, the council is considering using only a very small
portion of the money to help with the budget. Is our city broke? Not by a long shot.

On a related note, almost all of our non-sworn coworkers will be getting an eight-day furlough this year. During the
budget process, a number of budget ideas were publicly discussed by the City Council on how to save recreation
center programs, outdated libraries, and 50 year old city swimming pools. Some members of our council fought so
hard for these ideas that they even considered an additional furlough day for city employees. If some misinformed
citizen tells you our pay raise was the cause of layoffs, take the time to remind them that “midnight basketball” and
swimming pools were more important to the majority of our city council than saving our employees from furloughs.

In Still More News…..

The Crime Control and Prevention District election is in November. The coming election will renew the CCPD for five
more years. The CCPD provides funding for over 200 officer’s salaries, numerous police units and other police
equipment, and funds numerous programs that are vital to our department’s operations.

The Fort Worth Police Officers Association fully supports the CCPD and encourages every officer to help convince our
citizens of the need for this program.

In regard to our Memorial…..

The Fort Worth Police and Firefighters Memorial is once again selling bricks to help raise funds to help care for the
maintenance of our memorial. Please take the time to consider purchasing one.

And Finally…..

FWPOA elections are around the corner and will be upon us in a couple of months. Please take the time to consider
the candidates and vote in this important election.

The monthly meetings are the second Thursday of each month at noon and 1800 hrs. Please take the time to come
to a meeting.

Take care and Stay safe.

Kevin Foster
Fort Worth Police Officers Association

                                          Signal 50 - Page 6
                Law Office of
                 JIM LANE
           204 W. CENTRAL AVE.
             FORT WORTH, TX

                           PROVEN CRIMINAL

                           AGGRESSIVE FAMILY LAW

                           EXPERIENCED PERSONAL
                           INJURY REPRESENTATION

               TRIAL EXPERIENCE


            4th Quarter 2009 - Page 7
Message from the Chief
I hope this message finds all of you safe…thanks to the POA for the chance to
speak to all of you about some very important issues facing the Police Department.

“Challenging Headlines”

As I have been told, “the honeymoon is over.” I have never really liked that
phrase because after 22 years of marriage, I still feel like I am on my honeymoon!
But…I know what they are referring to, my new role as your Chief. Yes, there
have been many negative headlines about our police department in the last few
months and some of those headlines are from LAST SUMMER (2008)! Just
remember that with today’s technology, you simply never know when you are
being filmed. Some of the headlines were: In-custody death after Taser use,
“Rainbow Lounge”, use of force videos, off duty DWI’s and the list continues.
Some of the angles for these stories leave many of us confused but raw video can be damaging for our positive
reputation that many of you worked so hard to achieve.

So…where do we go from here? I have requested that our academy staff make it a priority to institute an in-service and
advanced training for all of us. We will base our training from input from our first responders, trends in use of force
reporting, risk & liability reduction, but most importantly, training to keep you safe and complete your job effectively!
Training is not the only answer though, we all have to do our part and maintain our professionalism at all times.

My job is to navigate the organization through these troubled waters and right now, we are holding steady on our path.
We have a couple of challenging headlines to answer in the future…if they have not already been addressed prior to
printing of this article.

“#1 Goal and #1a Goal”

Right now, our most important goal and highest priority is the passing of the CCPD! There is nothing more
important to our future and the safety of our city than this vote. I am asking a favor for EVERY member of this
department. We are not permitted to encourage the community to vote but we can speak about the facts relating to
CCPD. The most important thing YOU can do is give outstanding service can demonstrate professionalism in all you
do! Basically…keep doing the great job you have been doing. Our citizens love our police department and we need
to showcase our services for the important vote on November 3rd. Mark that date and remember how important it is…

Our “#1a Goal” is to continue to drive down our crime rate. Yes…the past couple of months have seen an increase in
property crimes but we are addressing those trends as this article was being published. I know you have heard that
our goal is to be the “safest major city in the United States” and that is an awesome goal to achieve…but I want you
to remember this statement:   “Texas First”!         It is tough to compare our crime rate with New York BUT, there
are 3 other Texas cities ahead of Fort Worth in the same FBI crime rankings: San Antonio, Austin, and El Paso.
So…let’s take them out one at a time and move up the list. Once we are the safest major city in Texas, then we will
look at the national competition!

“Why are there Changes?”

The other day I was talking to someone at City Hall and they were complaining about all of the changes going on in the
City, at City Hall, and in the Police Department. I found it kind of amusing that they were holding an i-phone, browsing
the web, looking at videos, and able to send emails instantly. I asked them, “where do you carry your pager?” You can
imagine the look I received…but, they realized what I was saying. We all love change that we support, understand,
and benefit us. We all despise and resist change that is confusing, we don’t understand, and does not benefit us. The
changes “we” (input gained from various members) are putting in place are for the future of our police department.
There are some areas where we can greatly improve service capabilities, funding opportunities, investigative strategies,
and information sharing. At the same time, we are also changing our training, discipline, driving policy, and looking at

                                         Signal 50 - Page 8
ways to make your jobs easier. Change takes time and positive change takes even longer. Please be patient as we
move forward together.

“Personal Decisions”

We are nearing the holiday season, a time filled with parties, football, and great family events. Please be sure to make
good, safe decisions as you enjoy this part of the year. We have seen only a couple of ‘off duty’ incidents related to
DWI. This decreasing trend is a good thing. Take the time to establish an “emergency contact” should you need a
safe ride home. Your safety is a high priority for our Police Department!

“5-Year Plan”

I am in the process of developing the 5-Year Plan for the FWPD. I will be contacting the POA for assistance in
developing strategies, goals, and priorities for our police department. I will be making a formal presentation to the City
Council in December or January so there is not much time but, gathering input from a variety of employees is critical.
If you have ideas, please share them with your POA Board of Directors. We will begin meeting in October.

On a final note, we had a very safe summer and I wanted to THANK all of the employees that participated in the
“Summer Safety Initiatives”…your dedication and long hours paid off! Next summer, we are going to target this season
with the same effort but stronger presence towards those reported crimes that are the most challenging. Our city
leaders and community members really appreciate you!

Stay safe and Family First!

Jeff Halstead

 Fort Worth Officer Michael G. Penn I.D. #1000
I recently received a phone call from retired Air One pilot Al Smith. Al related the story of Michael Gene
Penn, former Fort Worth Police Officer to me. The following is Michael Penn’s own account of his experi-
ences during the Vietnam war and was printed in the book, “We Came Home”.

Lieutenant - United States Navy
Shot Down: August 6, 1972
Released: March 29, 1973

I was born in Dallas, Texas, 13 March 1946. On 8 March 1968 I married the former Miss Carolyn Ann
Ritchie in Ft. Worth, Texas. We now have a son, Derek, three years old. Working as a police officer
for the City of Ft.
Worth for three years I simultaneously attended the University of Texas at Arlington and graduated in June 1969. I
entered the Navy Jet Flight Training Program in August 1969, receiving my Wings in April 1971.

 My first dutystation as a designated naval aviator was NAS Lemoore, California where I was assigned to Attack
Squadron 56. My first cruise was on the USS Midway, departing the United States on 10 April 1972. I flew 75 combat
missions over North Vietnam, and on the 75th, a SAM suppression mission, my aircraft, an A-7 Corsair II, was hit by
a SAM over Haiphong. Though I ejected safely Iwas captured minutes after landing.

Through resistance and brotherhood among the captive Americans, and a tremendous faith in our Commander-in-
Chief, and the American people, we maintained our dignity and returned with honor. I am extremely proud to have
served my country, and no one will ever know the true meaning of freedom until it has been taken away.

December 1996
Michael Penn currently resides in Texas.

                                  4th Quarter 2009 - Page 9
Notes from the Tequila Farm
                                                                   and they were holding signs
I don’t know if any of you have ever listened to any of            saying such stuff as “Death
Andy Griffith’s old stand up routines, but he is one of my         to Fisherman” and “How’s it
favorite story tellers. I just love the way he used to craft       feel to be Jail bait.” And if
his tales, simple county humor….it works. I think that is          you think that’s weird some
one of the reasons I enjoy writing the Tequila Farm, it            of the sharks were
allows me to craft a little story, sometimes I even manage         screaming and hollering
to sneak in some humor. I was setting around the other             about how unfair and mean
day and I came up with a little tale…and let me tell you,          the fishermen were and how
she was something. The story!                                      the sharks weren’t going to
                                                                   put up with abuse any
It was a fishing tale and it goes something like this.             longer. Fishermen targeting fishes, not in this ocean.
There were these fishermen you see, there was about                Now some of the fisherman got a little worried about all
eight of them in all plus the captain, all out on this boat,       this nonsense. Of course the fishermen realized that all
fishing of course. Now these fishermen were fishing in             this was coming from sharks and how much could they
the ocean and there are all kinds of fish out there. Big           really know. So one of the fisherman asked the sharks,”
fish, little fish, fish with big teeth and some with no teeth      how is the game warden even gonna know that we caught
at all. Now if you have ever been fishing in the ocean,            this fish. Why all we have to do is throw it back and it will
you know that sometimes there are rules about fishing.             be good as new. “
You got to have a license and it helps if you know what
you are fishing for. Some fish are protected and there are         Now let me tell you something. Sharks are crafty
limits to how many you can catch. Heck, some fish you              creatures. They have lived on this planet for more than
can’t even keep at all.                                            300 million years. And we humans like to think we are
                                                                   the big wigs on the planet but I think the sharks may
Now these fishermen were all having a good time out                have one up on us and shore enough one of the sharks
there on that little boat when low and behold one of the           pulled out his water proof swim camera that he took off a
fishermen pulled up a strange looking fish that none of            swimmer in Florida last summer and told the fisherman
the fisherman had ever seen. There really wasn’t anything          that the pictures had already been sent to the game
special about this fish, it had gills and scales and little        warden. Now some of the fishermen thought this was all
beady eyes and a fish face but it was new to this                  hog wash and told the sharks to get on and leave them to
fisherman. Well of course this created a little excitement         their fishing. But a couple of the fishermen felt it necessary
on the boat and all the fisherman were talking about this          to ask the sharks what they should do. The head shark
strange fish. Well, as you know the ocean is not only full         told the fishermen that the game warden would be waiting
of strange little fish but it’s also full of sharks. Mean little   on the docks to arrest the fishermen. The shark
bastards with sharp teeth. Big bad wolfs of the sea I              suggested that when they get close to the docks, all the
reckon. Now these sharks could hear the fisherman                  fishermen jump in the water and swim to the shore. That
talking about this fish and one of the sharks hashed a             way when the game warden finds the fish he won’t know
little plan. See this is my story and sharks can hash up           who was on the boat. Now some of the fisherman thought
one heck of a plan and they can do a few more things as            that jumping ship was a great idea and told the Captain
you will see.                                                      to head back to the dock.

Now the head shark stuck his head up out of the water              Now the Captain was taking stock of this and cautioned
and told one of the fisherman, “that fish you have there is        the fisherman about making a rash decision but to be
a boondogle fish and it’s the most illegal fish in the world.      honest the Captain just wasn’t sure what was going on.
Simply looking at one can get you a ticket and catching            He had run into sign carrying-talking sharks a few times
one, well everyone on that boat is going to jail.” Now             during his days at sea and didn’t really trust them but he
these fishermen were worldly and all but this was new              would wait til they got close to port before he made any
territory. This concerned the fisherman, because he didn’t         decisions as to what he would do.
like jail and certainly didn’t want to go back so he shared
the shark tale with the other fishermen. Well you can be           Well wouldn’t you know it, as the boat got close to the
sure that news spread like hot butter on fresh bread and           docks, there was the Game Warden standing there
it was all the fishermen could talk about. Pretty soon the         waiting on them. And the sharks were there too, taunting
fishermen could see other sharks swimming in the area              the fishermen telling them about how much fun jail would

                                           Signal 50 - Page 10
be and reminding them of the plan to jump off the boat         want to wait just a little longer to see if what the sharks
and swimming to shore to confuse the game warden.              have to say is really true.”
Now three of the fishermen, they got scared and sure as
the sun rises in the east they jumped right off that boat      Now I know that was a silly story, but I had fun writing it.
and into the shark infested waters. Now I don’t have to        If you ever find yourself out on a boat surrounded by
tell you that there were some happy sharks swimming            sharks, I hope you all with take a few minutes to examine
alongside that boat. And the head shark and all of his         the facts before you jump in the water with the sharks,
buddies, grinning with their big sharp teeth, swam up to       because you might get eaten.
the three fishermen and ate them. Right there. Just ate
them. Of course they were screaming and hollering but          I realize that this was a departure from my normal style
it didn’t make any difference, the sharks got’em.              but I felt the need to spin this yarn and I think it had some
                                                               of the Tequila flair. CCPD is just around the corner and I
Now the old wily sea captain saw all this and saw the          want to encourage everyone to get out and vote if you live
game warden standing on the dock and he came up with           in the City. CCPD is vital to the success of this Police
his own plan. He decided that when he pulled up to the         Department and I can’t imagine how difficult things will
docks he would be the first off the boat and apologize to      be without it. If you have a concern that you feel needs
the game warden. He would tell the warden that he was          the attention of the POA, please let me know. My personal
sorry about the fisherman catching that Boondogle fish         email address is This is your
and that he had asked them to be more careful but they         Association and your input is vital. PS, don’t forget POA
just wouldn’t listen. And sure enough when the boat            election season starts in December, get involved, and
pulled up the Captain was the first one off the boat and he    run for office.
ran right up to the game warden to tell him how sorry he
was that the Boondogle incident happened on his boat.
Now the Game Warden was a little confused. You see
his job was to monitor the fishing boats but he had never
                                                               Steve Hall
heard of a Boondogle and really didn’t know what the           Vice President
Captain was talking about. So he decided to take a look
at this fish and see what all the fuss was about. As luck      Fort Worth Police Officers Association
would have it the other fishermen were carrying the fish
up the dock to the Game Warden just as the Captain
finished his apology. The Game Warden picked up the
fish and looked at it from head to fin, fish ain’t got no
                                                                  Concealed Handgun
toes, and he weighed the fish, and finally proclaimed that
the fisherman had landed a perfectly legal sea trout.
                                                                         The Third Saturday of
Finally the Game Warden asked the fisherman, where in
                                                                              each month
the heck did this Boondogle idea come from? One of the
fisherman sheepishly admitted that the sharks had told
them about it and had threatened them with jail if they                    8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
showed up at the docks with the fish. The fisherman
also told the Game Warden about the sharks plan to
                                                                             FWPOA Building
have the fishermen jump in the water and swim to safety.                         904 Collier
Of course once the three of them jumped in, the sharks
ate them.
After listening to the fisherman, the Game Warden
                                                                       There will be a concealed handgun class
pondered the situation and finally asked; didn’t anyone          on the above date at the POA building. This
suggest to them that maybe they should have waited to            class is open to all police family members,
see what my investigation had to reveal before they jumped       retired officer’s families and their friends.
in with the sharks? Now the fisherman really didn’t have         Please do not bring any firearms into the
much to say to that, I mean they hadn’t jumped in with
the sharks and well everyone should know that if you
                                                                 building. You do not need a concealed
jump into the water with sharks you might get eaten.             handgun packet to attend. To register call
Now a story like this isn’t too good unless its got a moral,     Keith McGuire today!
you know, like be cautious of the sharks or something.
For me, I think the moral might be, “When the best option
looks like jumping in the water with the sharks, you might             817.475.6413

                                 4th Quarter 2009 - Page 11
Signal 50 - Page 12
                             Emma Richardson Award
 Emma Richardson hired on with FWPD in 1915 and was commissioned as the first female police officer in 1921. A
single mother, she worked for FWPD for 25 years. Emma is recognized for her accomplishments but is honored more
for her dedication, commitment and tenure with the FWPD.

Five years ago in the spirit of Emma Richardson, a committee was formed, nominations were solicited and an
outstanding female officer was honored. This year, the committee was so impressed with 2 candidates they elected
to honor both female officers. The 1std officer to be honored with the Emma Richardson Award.

Deputy Chief Rhonda Robertson

Chief Robertson became a Fort Worth police officer in 1985. Throughout her career
she has risen through the ranks and supervised many other officers within our

While assigned as a Sgt. to the Sexual Assault Unit, she worked closely with the
Victim’s Assistance Unit to provide victims with guidance to resources and
assistance. She also reshaped the way victims are treated in the legal system—
leading to her proposal for forming the Crimes Against Children Unit.

Words associated with Rhonda are industrious, dedicated and focused. She has
been described as the epitome of an inspiring leader. Her kindness and compassion
balance her drive and determination.

Setting the bar high for herself, she demands excellence from her troops as well,
pushing them to improve their skills, all the while welcoming new ideas, new
strategies and inventive practices.

Determination, desire and dedication exemplified Emma Richardson and Deputy Chief Rhonda Robertson provides a
current role model for all FWPD officers to follow.

Officer Janice Jones

Janice has been with our dept. for 22 years coming to us from Dallas. A single
parent when she joined the force, Janice worked in patrol and in the School Initiative
Unit until 2002 when she was selected for Motor Training.

Janice became the 1st female African-American motor officer and continues in that
assignment today. Her supervisors are most impressed with her work ethic and
willingness to take on any task.

She is also concerned with citizens outside the police family. She volunteered with
hurricane recovery in Houston and recently assisted members of our Sister City in
Mexico with lodging when they visited Fort Worth.
Janice served on the Police Honor Guard for 7 years providing the proper recognition
and respect all fallen officers deserve.

Janice is so proud of the FPWD that she has recruited her younger sister to join our
ranks; a sincere compliment to our department. While her children are the light of her life, she takes so much pride
in being a law enforcement officer that she has found a way to dedicate herself to her personal family and her police
family, making us all better.

Both Rhonda and Janice exemplify what citizens expect from their officers – dedication, integrity and perseverance.
They have excelled in our department in different ways, influencing those of us around them to be better police
officers. They set an outstanding example for all of us to follow.

                                4th Quarter 2009 - Page 13
                              July FWPOA Meeting

     (above)                     (right)
At the July FWPOA meet-                                  Rick Van Houten presented Kevin Foster
                              Chief Halstead             with a shadow box containing memora-
ing, our newly elected City   came by the meet-          bilia from the dedication of our memorial.
Councilman           “Zim”    ing to discuss is-         Among the items included were the
Zimmerman was our guest.      sues of concern to         United States and Texas flags that were
Scott Keenum and Rick Van     our officers. Dis-         flown above the memorial during the
Houten presented him with     cussion included           dedication.
framed mementos of his        the city budget and
campaign for office.          challenges to our
                              department, facets
 We hope that Councilman      of the 10-hour work
                              day, and other is-
Zimmerman will continue to
                              sues concerning
be a good friend of the FW-   department poli-
POA and have a long career    cies.
on our City Council.

                                   Signal 50 - Page 14
Politicians Play Pin the Tail on the Cop
Written by Michael Bertelone

In this fiscal crisis, look for politicians to find scapegoats to blame in order to advance their hidden agendas.
New York Governor David Paterson has gone out of his way to attack public employees (including police and
firefighters) for being “greedy” since they won’t agree to a 3 percent raise give-back. This raise was negotiated
and agreed upon by Gov. Paterson and state public employee unions. Now Paterson wants the unions to
return this raise for “the good of the state.”

The media, however, downplayed the fact that Paterson was also advocating for a substantial increase in
benefits for another group of his constituents: welfare recipients. This isn’t a 3 percent increase, either:
Paterson proposes a 30 percent benefit increase over three years.The welfare “raise” is likely to attract
people from other states, and perhaps other countries, who will be lured by the increased benefit. Many of
these folks will have no intention of finding work; why should they when Paterson is in the process of turning
the social safety net into a hammock?

Unfortunately, Gov. Paterson is not alone when it comes to grandstanding and inflaming taxpayers by slandering
public employees with stereotypes of laziness and greed. Many of these politicians are more than happy to
participate in photo ops at police and firefighter memorial services. However, they become schizophrenic the
very next day as they attack these same dedicated professionals for “busting the budget” with “unreasonable”
wage and benefit proposals.

There is something we can do to fight back. Our members and unions should avoid participating in photo
ops that benefit our elected officials until these officials agree not only to bargain in good faith, but also to
honor their agreements once they have been finalized.

We put our lives on the line daily for our communities, and ask for very little in return, other than a fair shake
at the bargaining table without the political shenanigans we’ve seen lately. We are quickly approaching the
8th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Once again, it will be time for politicians to show their support of
police and firefighters at memorial services commemorating this tragic event.

Wouldn’t it be great if they followed up their somber speeches with proper action, such as keeping their
political hands off our wages and health care benefits? We need to remind them of this through letters and
phone calls to their legislative offices locally, statewide, and in Washington. Public safety professionals are
the first line of defense in our increasingly dangerous world.

It makes no sense for our elected officials to bail out Wall Street, banks, auto companies and others, while
they continue to slander the folks who keep Main Street safe. Our police and fire union membership must
make it plain that we will not tolerate this shabby treatment at the hands of the political elite. We can’t
appease white-collar thugs attacking us with budget cuts any more than we would a common street thug
armed with a knife or a gun.

Michael Bertolone was the executive vice president of the Monroe County New York Law Enforcement
Association from 2000-2006. He has a master’s degree in human resource development from the
Rochester Institute of Technology (R.I.T.).

     “Reprinted with Permission of American Police Beat”

                              4th Quarter 2009 - Page 15
by Craig W. Floyd
                                                            during     multiple
The tragedy began to unfold on an Oakland street            death incidents.
around 1:15 p.m. on Saturday, March 21. Oakland             The vast majority
Police Sergeant Mark Dunakin and Officer John Hege          (1,120) was killed
were both shot and killed during a traffic stop. A little   by        felonious
more than two hours later Oakland Police Sergeants          assault, and the
Ervin Romans and Daniel Sakai would also be gunned          others (381) died in
down when the SWAT unit was called in to arrest the         a c c i d e n t a l
assailant who had barricaded himself in an apartment        situations, such as
building.                                                   automobile and
                                                            aircraft crashes.
Two weeks later, on Saturday, April 4, three Pittsburgh
police officers were murdered during a domestic             The        deadliest
disturbance call. Officers Stephen J. Mayhle and Paul       incident in law enforcement history, by far, was the
J. Sciullo II were both shot and killed by a 22-year-old    terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. Seventy-two
man wearing a bulletproof vest after being let into         law enforcement officers were killed that day during
the home by the suspect’s mother who had called for         the attacks and subsequent rescue efforts. The Port
help. Officer Eric Kelly was returning home after his       Authority of New York and New Jersey Police
shift when he was called to assist with the domestic        Department suffered the most deaths that day, with
disturbance call. As he got out of his vehicle when he      37 fatalities, including Police Superintendent Fred
arrived on the scene, he was also shot and mortally         Morrone. All but one of the 72 officers died at the
wounded.                                                    World Trade Center site in New York City; Richard
                                                            Guadagno, a federal law enforcement officer with the
Just three weeks later, on another Saturday afternoon,      U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, was killed when the
April 25, two Okaloosa County (FL) deputies were            plane hijacked by terrorists crashed in Pennsylvania.
murdered while trying to make an arrest. Deputies
Warren “Skip” York and Burt Lopez had gone to a             A closer look at the record books for 2001 found that
gun club to arrest a man in connection with a domestic      another 17 law enforcement officers died in multiple
violence incident earlier in the day. As they               death incidents that year. The final two multiple death
approached the suspect, he raised his gun and fired.        casualties of the year were Captain Charles B.
                                                            Morgan Jr. and Deputy Billy Ray Walls III of the
Three separate incidents in different parts of the          Jessamine County (KY) Sheriff’s Office. They were
country resulted in the shooting deaths of nine law         shot by a 70-year-old man who was wanted for
enforcement professionals in just over a month’s time.      making terrorist threats. They were the 88th and 89th
It turned what had been a relatively safe year for law      officers killed in multiple death incidents during 2001,
enforcement into one with about 30 percent more             which far surpassed the 29 officers killed in 1932,
fatalities than occurred during the same period in          the second highest year for multiple death fatalities.
2008 (44 v. 34).
                                                            Prior to 9-11, the greatest loss of law enforcement
While certainly not the norm, multiple death fatalities     lives in a single event occurred on November 24,
among the law enforcement ranks have occurred               1917, when nine Milwaukee officers were killed in a
throughout history. In fact, the first such incident        bomb blast at a police station. It was a Saturday
occurred on August 3, 1808, when two officers with          evening and a suspicious package was discovered
the U.S. Customs Service, Ellis Drake and Asa Marsh,        alongside the Italian Evangelical Church in downtown
were both shot and killed trying to arrest a powerful       Milwaukee. The woman who made the discovery
group of smugglers who were using the waterways to          summoned a young boy named Sam Mazzone to take
bring forbidden products into the United States from        it to the police station. A group of detectives were
Great Britain.                                              filing out of roll call in the first floor assembly room
                                                            soon after the package arrived. According to a police
According to the records of the National Law                department report, “As detectives examined the
Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) in              package with a fury of haste, it exploded, immediately
Washington, DC, 1,501 officers have been killed

                                      Signal 50 - Page 16
killing [nine police officers.]” The officers killed were
Frank Caswin, Henry Deckert, Frederick Kaiser, David
O’Brien, Charles Seehawer, Edward Spindler, Stephen
Stecher, Albert Templin and Paul Weiler. The culprits
were never caught, but police linked the bombing to

a group of anarchists who were seeking revenge
against the pastor of the church that had been

Eight federal law enforcement officers were killed in
another bomb blast that occurred on April 19, 1995,
in Oklahoma City. Domestic terrorists detonated a                 Attention Retired
massive truck bomb outside the Alfred P. Murrah
Federal Building, killing a total of 168 civilians and
government workers. Among the law enforcement
                                                                  Police Employees
officers who died were Assistant Special Agent in
Charge Alan Whicher, and Special Agents Cynthia              Remember to attend the monthly luncheon at
Brown, Donald Leonard and Mickey Maroney of the                 Cousin’s Barbecue on Bryant Irvin in
Secret Service; Senior Special Agents Paul Ice and                           Fort Worth
Claude Medearis of the U.S. Customs Service; Special
Agent Paul Broxterman of the U.S. Department of                  On the 2nd Tuesday of every month
Housing and Urban Development; and Special Agent
Kenneth McCullough of the Drug Enforcement                         Come and talk about old times
Administration.                                                         and swap stories
Of the 1,501 officers killed in multiple death incidents,
958 were shot to death. The shooting incident that                  We start at about 10:30 a.m.
resulted in the highest death total occurred on
October 30, 1950, when eight members of the Puerto                       All Are Welcome
Rico Police Department were shot and killed during a
political revolt led by the Nationalist Party, which was
attempting to overthrow U.S. presence on the island.
The eight officers killed included Chief of Police Aurelio      D & M Air Conditioning
Miranda-Rivera; Lieutenant Ramon Villanueva-Moro;
Corporal Ramon Robles-Castillo; and Officers Virgilio                & Heating
Camacho-Reyes, Jesus Felciano-Ruiz, Luis Rivera-                     6808 Richardson Dr.
Cardona and Dionisio Rivera-Yolistruck.
                                                                     Fort Worth, TX 76148
Deputy First Class Elizabeth Magruder of the Prince
George’s County (MD) Sheriff’s Office is one of 21                  Residential and Small
female officers killed in multiple death incidents. On
August 29, 2002, Deputy Magruder and her partner,
Sergeant James V. Arnaud, were shot and killed while
attempting to take a man from his parents’ home for          Sales-Installation-Maintenance-
psychiatric care. Ironically, they were there to help
the man and his family, but oftentimes helping others
means putting your own life at risk if you are a law
enforcement professional.                                         Licensed             Insured

“Reprinted with permission of the author and AMERICAN                                  817.485.7996
POLICE BEAT.”                                                     Doyle Martin         817.485.2640

                                4th Quarter 2009 - Page 17
                              FWPD Class 124

photos by Raymond Cervantes

                              Signal 50 - Page 18
  FWPD Class 125

4th Quarter 2009 - Page 19
Fort Worth honors their fallen heroes
by Craig W. Floyd

         We do two things very well in Fort Worth,” declared Mayor Mike Moncrief.
“When we are proud of something, we take ownership. But, when we’re not proud of
something, we take responsibility. We’re not proud that a year ago at this time, we
were the largest city in the country without a memorial to honor our fallen. As of
today, that is no longer the case.”

        More than 1,000 law enforcement officers, firefighters, survivors of the fallen,
and other dignitaries and citizen supporters (including this writer) joined Mayor Moncrief
on June 5, 2009, for the official dedication of the Fort Worth Police & Firefighters

                                                                       The $1.2 million monument was funded by private
                                                                     donations and was 20 years in the making. The
                                                                     project suffered a number of fits and starts, but Mayor
                                                                     Moncrief credited his wife, Rosie, for helping him and
                                                                     the Fort Worth Police & Firefighters Memorial Board
                                                                     of Directors (Co-Chaired by Bob Kolba and John
                                                                     Stevenson) to “move this monument from just a drawing
                                                                     on a piece of paper to a reality.”

                                                                        The Memorial, one of the largest in the country,
                                                                     sits on five acres in a serene slice of Fort Worth called
                                                                     Trinity Park. It is highlighted by a statue consisting
                                                                     of a saddled riderless horse with boots turned
                                                                     backward in the stirrup, symbolizing a missing
                                                                     comrade, led by a law officer on one side and a
                                                                     firefighter on the other.

       Behind the statue is a black wall of granite, inscribed with the names of Fort Worth’s 95 public safety officers
who have made the ultimate sacrifice, including three deputy marshals, 55 police officers and 37 firefighters.

         Mayor Moncrief described the Memorial as “a place of contemplation . . . a place to mourn . . . a place to
honor . . . and a place to rejoice in a life well-lived.”

         A path leading up to the statue and wall of names contains memorial plaques telling the stories of selected
fallen heroes from the different eras in Fort Worth history. The first law officer plaque explains that Fort Worth Deputy
Marshal George H. White, 21, had arrested a horse thief on August 2, 1879, and was transporting him back to town
when he was ambushed and mortally wounded by the prisoner’s family and friends.

        A few feet further down the pathway, visitors are reminded of the story of Fort Worth Police Officer George
Turner. Around 1:00 AM on May 21, 1928, Officer Turner, 32, spotted a car that had tried to run him down earlier in the
week while on bicycle duty.
        Along with two other officers, he gave chase in a patrol car and pulled the suspect’s vehicle over.

         As the three officers approached the car, the driver drew a pistol and began firing. Officer Turner, after just one
year of service, was shot and killed. He left behind a wife and three-year-old daughter.

        Detective Henry Cleveland joined the Fort Worth Police Department at the age of 21 in 1923. He served for 29
years. His distinguished law enforcement career ended on February 7, 1952, when he was shot and killed while
searching a house for a robbery suspect.

         The last of the memorial plaques along the pathway honors Police Officer Henry Paul Mailloux.

                                         Signal 50 - Page 20
        On November 29, 1975, he was gunned down with a shot to the chest after stopping a vehicle with license
plates matching a car used in an armed robbery the night before. The parents of Officer Mailloux were later responsible
for convincing the City of Fort Worth to issue protective body armor to all of their officers.

        After Mayor Moncrief’s speech, the Roll of Honor was read. After the fallen firefighters were read, Fort Worth
City Marshal Jesus Hernandez read the names of the three deputy city marshals who made the ultimate sacrifice.

         Delbert Willis, a reporter for the Fort Worth Press, wrote in 1938 that “a bushy moustache, a pair of six-
shooters, a defiant tongue and a reputation for loving danger, were the requirements for those early-day men of law who
carried the awesome title of [Fort Worth] city marshal. Almost every man in town qualified,” he added.

       Columbus C. Fitzgerald had held the job on an interim basis in 1875, and was serving as the Deputy City
Marshal on the night of August 25, 1877, when he was shot and mortally wounded trying to break up a fight.

        He would die of his wounds the following day, making him the first law enforcement officer in the history of Fort
Worth to be killed performing his duties.
        Next on the list of name readers was Fort Worth Police Chief Jeffrey Halstead. One of the names he read was
Andrew J. Grimes, a Fort Worth police officer who was shot and killed on May 12, 1902. Officer Grimes, 39, had cited
a hack driver for a parking violation at the train station.

         The driver became enraged and when Officer Grimes handed him the summons to sign, the violator pulled out
a gun and fired five shots, killing Officer Grimes. The killer was originally sentenced to death, but the punishment was
later reduced and he only served two years for the offense.
         Prior to the ceremony, Sergeant Kevin Foster – the man responsible for researching most of the stories
behind each of Fort Worth’s fallen heroes – introduced me to Roy Grimes, the grandson of Andrew Grimes.

         Roy and his family, including Andrew’s great-great-grandson, had driven 300 miles from Lubbock (TX) to be at
the ceremony. Roy told me that he had followed in his grandfather’s public service footsteps by serving for 60 years
in the U.S. Navy before they “made him retire.”

        His grandfather had died more than 100 years earlier, but still there was a break in his voice as Roy spoke
about the tragedy his family had suffered and the importance of having his loved one honored in this special way.

       Rick Van Houten, President of the Fort Worth Police Officers Association, had graciously arranged for me to
conclude the names reading.

          Among the names I read were Henry “Hank” Nava Jr. and Dwayne N. Freeto, the two most recent officers
killed in Fort Worth. Officer Nava died on December 1, 2005, from a gunshot wound to the head while attempting to
serve an arrest warrant. On December 17, 2006, Officer Freeto was killed when his patrol car was rear-ended by a
drunken driver after pulling over to assist a motorist with a flat tire.

      These two officers had died under Mayor Moncrief’s watch, and in the years that followed he had been wearing
memory bracelets in their honor.

      After the ceremony was over, Mayor Moncrief quietly slipped away from the crowd and went over to the
Memorial wall. He removed the bracelets and left them there as a personal tribute to those two brave officers.

        The bracelets had now been replaced by a majestic monument – a legacy of remembrance and hope that
Mayor Moncrief and the City of Fort Worth created in honor of Hank Nava, Dwayne Freeto and 93 other fallen American

Craig W. Floyd is chairman of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. Visit for
more about law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.

Reprinted with permission, American Police Beat.

                                4th Quarter 2009 - Page 21
I am a Fort Worth Police Office-Her ........ by Shelby Meza
To my fellow police officers, I am a Fort Worth
Police Office-Her, still today I am so proud to say          you didn’t get a chance to do
that, I am elated that I have a position within this         that, go ahead and do it now.
fine City of Fort Worth. I work here, I shop here, I         I’ll wait until you get back.
attend church here, and I lived here from the very
beginning of my career (1987) up until 2005. I now           Ok, now that you have read
live outside of the city limits. I have two sisters and      it, does that not say it all? You
just until recently one of them still lives in the city. I   may say this is corny or
have a brother who lives here as well. I have younger        lame or a waste of time.
nieces and nephews who live here. My child attends           That’s your opinion and
school here.                                                 probably the reason why you
                                                             are the way you are. I am all
Where am I going with this you may be asking                 for the better. I want better, I
yourself? I am so glad you did, I am elated to tell          can do better, I deserve
you. I have vested interest in my position as a Fort         better. Always!
Worth Police Officer, I didn’t come this far in my
career to see it become tarnished or to see some             If you don’t take pride in your uniform, your
young cocky rookie officer or some disgruntled               appearance, your cause, then why should anyone
soon to retire officer to cause blemishes towards            else? I ask you seriously why should anyone else?
the badge I wear.                                            Especially bad guy number 1, 2 or 3. Why should
                                                             he respect you when you don’t even respect your
Let’s see who may get there feelings hurt here? If           uniform or your cause as a police officer? As a
you do, you may need to check yourself. As a                 first responder it is your responsibility to be just that,
police officer you are expected to be able to handle         it is your responsibility to be the best you can be. If
things a little better than the average person. Your         not, maybe you should really take a good hard harsh
skin is supposed to be a little thicker than most.           look and become your own critic. Don’t just take
You should be able to tolerate words, antics,                my word for it. Also, I have told you before and I
gestures and the like a little better than most.             stand by my word, you may have selected this
                                                             career, but God has placed you in this position as a
Recently, while attending a class at our police              police officer, He is the reason why you are able to
academy I could not believe how police officer               extend the laws of the land. God has given us that
friendly the instructor was trying to be as not to insult    authority and he expects you to carry your duty
anyway or as not to offend anyone that was                   with honor and respect for your service. I won’t get
attending the class. First of all, we were all Fort          to heavy into the book of Roman where Paul was a
Worth Police Officers in that class; there were no           slave and an apostle and how he had to help the
civilians, no out of town officers, just us. Police work     people to understand why the laws were in place
is tough work; police work is God’s work.                    and why the authority of the law was given to certain
                                                             people and why they are expected not to abuse their
Have I missed something lately? Why would you                authority. I won’t even go so far as to say that were
get your feelings hurt? As long as the instructor is         it is written that if you fear the law or the peace keeper
not singling you out and calling your racial slurs or        it may be because you know you are wrong and
your lifestyle or the like, why would you get                you are not abiding by the law. I won’t get too heavy
offended? As long as the instructor hasn’t called            here but I want to tell you something because I have
you out by name and specifically named you in a              a feeling you won’t go read this part for yourself but
particular situation or circumstance why or how              in case you do you should like this part to.
could you be offended. I am not saying you are to
drop your values or your beliefs etc, I’m just saying        Where in the book of Romans 13: 3-4, for rulers
you have got to be kidding? Come on you guys?                are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Do
Let’s get a little tougher and stop being so sensitive       you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do good
in regards to these types of things. I need your             and you will have its approval. For government is
help when you put on your uniform or if you are in           God’s servant to you for good. But if you do wrong,
plain clothes, but when you place that badge on your         be afraid, because it does not carry the sword for
person or you strap on that pistol and you are               no reason. For government is God’s servant, an
representing the Fort Worth Police Department, you           avenger that brings wrath on the one who does
are a figure that represents other police officers           wrong. Wow, you gotta love it, I didn’t make that up,
nationwide. Keep in mind that is exactly what you            and it’s in your bible. Now, I’m not going to comment
are doing, you are representing me and my police             on anything unparticular here, but ya gotta wonder
department. Several articles back I asked you to             if a person challenges you or your authority and
re examine your code of ethics and the oath that             you are within the full scope of your duty. Why it is
you swore to when you became a police officer. If            not expected that you invoke your right to do what
                                                             is necessary to do. Recently, I had a situation where

                                       Signal 50 - Page 22
a citizen literally cursed me for blocking the air tank         C.O.B.R.A REACHES 400
at a public gas station store. I was placing air in my          by Det. Joel Harter
POLICE horse trailer and I was in full uniform, and
on duty. This clown, yes I said clown! Because that
is exactly what he was acting like, (I honestly believe         Covert Organized Bait Recovery and
he hadn’t taken his Ritalin or xanax which ever one
or he may have need both.) In order to keep from                Apprehension
having to go hands on with this idiot I chose to call
for an assist to take care of the stupid situation due          The Fort Worth Police COBRA unit just surpassed
to the fact I really believe that this guy was going to         400 arrests since inception of the program in April
force me to step up the use of force continuum.                 2006. The COBRA unit is the most successful bait
Officer Jaime Johnson and Officer Trey Phillips
would have been so proud of me!                                 car program in the country for the length of time it
                                                                has been in service. The COBRA Unit makes an
I elected to choose another route because I had                 average of three arrests a week and has grown from
the luxury of doing that at that time. Along came a             a one person operation to a Sergeant and two on-
young officer who I had just now had the privilege of           call detective operation. The COBRA unit is supported
meeting. Man, we have a lot of new officers now, I              by the NICB National Insurance Crime Bureau and
didn’t know him and he was a sweetie, he responded              the Tarrant Regional Auto Crimes Task Force in
quickly and he took over and displayed true
professionalism regarding the situation, so much                conjunction with the Arlington Police Department who
that this idiot citizen thought he was my supervisor.           has their own bait car unit.
By the way thanks again to Officer Deautric Sims
#3464 working A114 that day 09092013. Way to                    How it works……
handle up!
                                                                The bait cars are equipped with a cellular modem
Be proud, be grateful, be thankful, and be blessed.             that functions like a cellular phone with data only.
                                                                The bait car is equipped with audio and video devices
I am really counting on all of you to not trouble the
waters but be a bridge over troubled waters. Until              along with GPS. When a bait car is activated, the
next time, I am praying for you and your families               cellular modem relays the trigger information (door,
always.                                                         ignition, ect.) to the server computer that sends a
                                                                text message to the detective’s phones in a matter
Really, next quarter we will take a look at HER in              of a few seconds. The dispatcher and the detective
another capacity as a first responder.                          can monitor and view the bait vehicle on a map
                                                                relaying information to the officers on the streets.

Detectives or the dispatcher have the capability of disabling the engine and locking the door. Although the
doors are not permantly locked, locking the doors is merely a distraction. There is a misconception that the
suspect can be locked inside. Due to liability, we cannot lock suspects inside the bait car. We can just make
it harder for them to get out at the time of the stop.

Patience is really important in the capture of these bait car suspects. The reason for Fort Worth being so successful
is because we don’t send officers to the vehicle location immediately. The suspects are getting smarter. They will
actually walk down the street and look around the corners to see if a patrol unit is setting up on them. Some suspects
will pull door handles to see if an officer drives by the vehicle. They will often wait a couple of days before they take the
bait. The COBRA unit has a vehicle they have had since day one of the program that still gets stolen. It is very
important not to discuss that they were in a bait vehicle on the scene so they don’t try and remember the vehicle. The
suspect will eventually know about it being bait from his defense attorney but he will not be able to memorize the
characteristics of the bait vehicle. At times a detective will have to inform the suspect that they were in a bait vehicle
for leverage on identifying other additional suspects. Bait cars allow detectives to arrest passengers for theft or BMV.
On a regular auto theft, most of the time, only the driver is prosecutable. Bait cars record conversations between
passengers and drivers. In most instances, passengers will direct the driver where to take the bait vehicle to. Therefore
they are exercising control of the vehicle without actually operating the vehicle.

In a survey conducted of the arrest made from 2006-2007 on Fort Worth, fifty percent of the suspect arrested had prior
auto theft convictions. Ninety eight percent of the arrest had felony convictions. A car burglar is also car thief. They just
don’t always take the vehicle.
The Auto Theft Unit would like to thank all for their cooperation in the COBRA bait car program.

                                 4th Quarter 2009 - Page 23
                Academy Corner
Alrighty then indeed… things continue to move forward at the academy. Since the last edition
of the Signal 50 we have a new Captain, Lieutenant, and new In-Service Sergeant. Speaking of
In-Service… I have been appointed as the new In-Service coordinator. I have enjoyed my time
with the recruits and I look forward to working with the officer side of the training academy. So,
from here on I will be writing about the upcoming In-Service training and the future of the In-
Service Training program. With that in mind, let’s look at the 2009 – 2011 training cycle.

Unlike previous years, TCLEOSE has relaxed the requirements for the legislatively mandated
courses for peace officers. Those who have an Intermediate or higher certificate will not be
required to take all those mandated courses. This is a nice change and will allow us to develop some variety in the
courses we offer during the In-Service cycle. As we develop these courses, we are asking for input as to courses you
would like to see offered at the academy. Since it has been a while since our last In-Service training cycle, it will take
a while to develop these courses. However, we are committed to developing a more robust and appealing catalog of
courses than in the past. (Email your ideas to Sgt. Wilson or me).

After the beginning of 2010, we will begin the In-Service training for the department. Even though we are going to use
the previous full week, 40-hour schedule, there will be more variety and more interesting class offerings. As we move
beyond the In-Service schedule, we will be developing an ongoing course catalog that will allow the academy to bring
more interesting and professional training to the department.

One of the most interesting aspects of our future plans will be the ability to develop our own online training courses. In
April of next year, the new HR software will go live. This comes will a module that allows us to deliver online courses.
Unlike, POSEIT, these courses will be interesting and engaging. We will have more information as we get closer to the
go live date…

That’s all for now… stay safe, stay in shape and remember…
                                                                                 Brendan Bagnell
“Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right. “
- Henry Ford

                                         Class 124

                                        Signal 50 - Page 24
                              Academy Class 125

Photos by Raymond Cervantes

                          4th Quarter 2009 - Page 25
With big bucks at risk, a Calif. city supports its cops
A drunken woman is arrested during a sidewalk melee.           Rhino Saloon decided the Shepherd party had to go. His
Sobered up, she claims the cops broke her ribs,                effort to expel them touched off a free-for-all that spilled
committed assault and battery on her, and violated her         out onto the sidewalk.
civil rights by using excessive force. She sues for
                                                               According to Colwell’s summary of events, the bouncer
$1,000,000. Over time, her lawyer offers to settle for
                                                               at one point had Shepherd’s newly adult son “in a bear
$75,000. An attorney defending the cops guesses that
                                                               hug.” Shepherd claimed later that with motherly concern,
$35,000 — chickenfeed in the high-stakes world of police
                                                               she tapped him on the shoulder and asked, “What are
litigation — would make the suit go away. In many
                                                               you doing with my son?” Arriving police officers, on the
jurisdictions, the case of Shepherd v. Crawford et al. would
                                                               other hand, testified that they found her “on his back with
have been settled — and fast.
                                                               her arm around his throat” in what looked like a carotid
But in this case, an assistant city attorney said, “No,        chokehold. By then there were maybe 50 people on the
we’ll let the matter be decided on its merits.” Maybe a        sidewalk and street, including officers mounted on horses
trial will send the message that the municipal treasury is     and innocent Rhino patrons trying to flee the explosive
not an ATM machine.                                            scene. “Sheer chaos!” Colwell exclaims.

With today’s juries seemingly becoming more fantastical        Sgt. Garret Crawford worked his way to Shepherd and
by the moment, it was a gutsy call.                            yelled in her ear, “Let go! Modesto police! Let go!” Even
                                                               after he repeated the order, she didn’t comply.
Shepherd is a middle-aged California mother who decided
that in keeping with a family tradition her youngest son’s     “He took her by the shoulder, grabbed her bicep and pulled
21st birthday should be celebrated with a night of drinking    her back,” Colwell says. “Apparently the momentum of
and carousing. On a Friday evening two years ago last          this yank combined with her flailing and her drunkenness
January, she was part of a moveable party that headed          caused her to fall on top of another person in the crowd,
for the so-called “entertainment” district in downtown         landing on her back.”
Modesto, an area notorious to the police for its profusion
                                                               With the help of Officer Douglas Griepp, Crawford turned
of bars and brawls.
                                                               Shepherd onto her stomach. She was handcuffed behind
At the time she filed suit, Shepherd claimed that she          her back and transported to jail, where she spent the rest
imbibed only moderately that night. No blood or breath         of the night.
tests were taken when she was arrested. But witnesses
                                                               Just when and how she was injured remains unknown,
— and eventually Shepherd herself, during cross-
                                                               Colwell says. A nurse’s intake form — which Shepherd
examination at trial — painted a profoundly different
                                                               signed at the jail — indicates no complaints of rib pain or
picture, according to Kimberly Colwell, an Oakland
                                                               difficulty breathing. But after her release, a visit to her
attorney with the firm Meyers, Nave, Riback, Silver &
                                                               doctor revealed fractures of four ribs. Shepherd claimed
Wilson, who represented the defendant officers.
                                                               this damage was caused by police knee-dropping onto
Testimony indicated there was drinking at the Shepherd         her, a charge that was vehemently denied.
home, more drinking during the limo ride downtown, still
                                                               Her federal 1983 civil rights suit followed, asking a million
more drinking at a filling station en route, and a
                                                               bucks in recompense and raising the specter of punitive
“phenomenal” amount of drinking from bar to bar as the
                                                               damages as well, for which any officers found liable would
merriment of family and friends escalated. Shepherd
                                                               be personally responsible.
allegedly favored “tall” White Russians, while others in
her party chugged down volatile mixtures of Guinness,          Initially, the city of Modesto and every officer who could
Red Bull, whiskey, and so-called Jeager Bombs and Irish        be identified at the scene were named as defendants. As
Car Bombs.                                                     the case progressed through the US District Court for the
                                                               eastern district of California, Colwell and her associate
As Friday night became Saturday morning — at about
                                                               Kevin Gilbert successfully got defendants scratched until
one o’clock — a bouncer at a joint called the Copper
                                                               only two remained: Crawford and Greipp.

                                         Signal 50 - Page 26
In California, as in most jurisdictions, municipalities are       her what guidance she might offer in general to help law
obligated to pay any judgments against their officers             enforcement fare better in civil litigation. Her suggestions:
except punitive damages. In civil rights cases, a prevailing
plaintiff is entitled to recover attorneys’ fees, too, which      1. Make sure policies are updated regularly. “A lot of
in this case might have run as high as $250,000, Colwell          times, updating falls through the cracks,” she says. “The
estimates. So settling the case was a tempting option             worst thing is to have a chief testify that his department’s
from a purely economic standpoint, especially since               policies are current, and then the documents themselves
Modesto is self-insured.                                          have dates that are years old.

However, Jim Wilson, the senior deputy city attorney into         “Laws change, standards change. All policies should be
whose lap this decision fell, is a former police officer — in     carefully reviewed and updated on an annual basis. And
Colwell’s words. “a tough guy who gets it.” While some            they should be compiled in a neat format, not with a crazy-
cases are appropriate to settle, he was convinced this            quilt of different fonts and type sizes and dates, like
was not one of them.                                              something that’s just thrown together indifferently. Simple
                                                                  things like that can make a huge difference when it comes
A thorough investigation persuaded him that the officers          to jurors’ perception.
had used no excessive force, and he understood that
even when things are done right, people can still get             “If you have good, current policies it’s good protection
injured. He accepted Crawford’s and Griepp’s assertion            and officers don’t have to spend time in their testimony
that they had not gone to their knees on Shepherd’s back          addressing policy flaws. You’ll save a lot of money in the
or anywhere else, because they were struggling with her           long run.”
very close to where the mounted officers were trying to
                                                                  2. Take time writing your reports. “Every officer I’ve
break up the crowd and they feared if they physically
                                                                  ever represented in a federal trial has said, ‘I’m never
lowered themselves they could be trampled by horses.
                                                                  going to write a report the same way again.’ Get all the
The city was not interested in settling, Wilson declared.         salient details down and re-read it to be sure it’s thorough
Colwell explains, “The city wanted to send a message to           before signing off and having it reviewed by a supervisor.
its officers: ‘We believe in you.’ And it wanted to send a
                                                                  “Lawsuits are not always about shootings or other huge
message to the plaintiffs’ bar as well: justified police action
                                                                  events. They’re often about ‘routine’ incidents you forget
will be defended.”
                                                                  about as soon as they’re over. Months or years later you
The play for principle paid off. After a week-long trial and      may find yourself in court with lawyers spending weeks
just a few hours’ deliberation, an eight-member jury — all        putting everything you wrote under a microscope. A good
women — unanimously ruled recently in the officers’ favor.        report should accurately refresh your recollection, even
They were absolved of any liability; amount owed to               with the passage of time.
Shepherd: zip. Now, Colwell says, the city will attempt to
                                                                  “If your report has mistakes or omissions, it doesn’t help.”
recover costs from the plaintiff.
                                                                  Colwell says she’s currently involved in a trial in which an
“We talked with the jurors after the verdict,” she says,          issue is being made over an officer’s report that described
“and we told them, ‘If you have any criticism of the officers     a suspect having “his hands visible at his face,” when, in
in any way, we’ll bring them in now and you can discuss           fact, only one hand was visible. “Small things make a
things with them.’ It’s important to know what jurors are         difference.”
thinking beyond their verdict alone. But they said, ‘No,
                                                                  She advises, “Write your report very close to the time of
we understand that police officers have a hard job. They
                                                                  the incident. That gives the story credibility that you wrote
did their best in dealing with drunken people’.”
                                                                  it when details were still fresh in your mind. If you
From the department’s support to the officers’ performance        remember more later, do a supplement.
on the stand, Colwell says the Shepherd case went much
                                                                  “Explain what you did and why. If you drew your gun or
better than many she tries. Given her years of experience
                                                                  Taser but didn’t use it, include that to show that you’re
representing cops and their employers, PoliceOne asked
                                                                  not trying to hide anything.”
                                                                                                     (Cont. Page 30)

                                   4th Quarter 2009 - Page 27
3. Tend to evidence. “Police departments are usually fabulous at collecting and preserving evidence for
criminal prosecutions, but they sometimes fall down with evidence that’s important in civil litigation.”

She speaks of cases in which dispatch tapes have gotten destroyed or lost, even one instance in which a
gun involved in a shooting was sold by the department and then later needed in defending a lawsuit.

“There needs to be clear communication within the agency to automatically retain and maintain evidence
for possible civil litigation, and all evidence should be stored with a clear chain of custody. When critical
evidence goes missing, it tends to look like a cover-up.”

Colwell adds that it may seem harsh to criticize police for what appear to be trivial issues. But, as the
Shepherd suit shows, even an ordinary barroom brawl may to your surprise end up being a date for you
in federal court.


Charles Remsberg co-founded the original Street Survival Seminar and the Street Survival Newsline, authored
three of the best-selling law enforcement training textbooks, and helped produce numerous award-winning training
videos. His nearly three decades of work earned him the prestigious O.W. Wilson Award for outstanding
contributions to law enforcement and the American Police Hall of Fame Honor Award for distinguished
achievement in public service.

In Memory
Retired Detective D.D. O’Neal
Dennis D. O’Neal, 81, passed away Saturday, Aug. 29, 2009. He was a retired
police officer and a wonderful family man. Dennis experienced cardiac arrest March
14, 2009, but God granted this additional time to share with his family.

Dennis was born Aug. 10, 1928, in Wellington. His parents moved their young family
to Marshall, where he graduated from high school in 1947. He was the oldest of
eight children and learned mechanics while working in his father’s garage as a

In 1952, he joined the Fort Worth Police Department. Not long after that, he met Melva Gerdes, his wife of 54
years, while on a routine call to Harris Hospital. As a patrolman, he carried pockets full of peppermint candy to give
to children he met in the course of his work. He wanted them to have a positive image of policemen. After he and
his wife joined Ridglea Presbyterian Church in 1957, he continued his “peppermint ministry” at the church; and
throughout his life always had a pocket of candy he would dispense along with a joke or kind word.

Colleagues at the police department nicknamed him “McCloud” after the Dennis Weaver television character. He
retired from the Fort Worth Police Department after 32 years and then worked for the Kennedale Police Department
to round out a 40-year career in law enforcement.

His interest in people was genuine. He gave freely of his time and affection to others. Dennis was always willing to
help family, neighbors, acquaintances, and even strangers. He was a dedicated husband and father who often
worked two jobs, but made time to help with housework and participate in family activities. He could fix anything
from a broken car to a broken heart.

                                           Signal 50 - Page 28
                  CHAPLAINS CORNER
                       EVERYTHING HAS A PRICE...
We live in a world , an existence, where everything has a
                                                                  An undesired price we often
price. Water, whether it be Dassani, Ozarka, or Public
                                                                  find ourselves paying all to
Utility water, has it’s price. New clothing from Dillard’s
                                                                  frequently. I’m not writing about
Foley’s, The Gap, or old clothing sold at flea markets,
                                                                  over indulgence or the price
Goodwill stores, and or garage sales, has it’s price.
                                                                  associated with it. My concern
There are prices on new Ethan Allen furniture all the way
                                                                  today is with the price of under
down to old Rent A Center Furniture Prices on this food,
                                                                  indulgence as it relates to enjoying ones life.
that food. Prices for parking here and there. Prices on this
I-Pod and that portable DVD player. Entertainment has
                                                                  I propose that sometimes we spend so much time with
it’s prices, from movies at the movie theater to cable pay
                                                                  the concern for so many other prices regarding this or
per view. Everything has a price. Books of all types covering
                                                                  that , that we in fact over look the price of under indulgence
all subjects have assorted prices. Music cds, to personal
                                                                  as it relates to life. Before you know it you will be 30, 40,
DVD movies. Prices are affixed to everything. Medical care.
                                                                  50 and even 60 years of age and or older. Things are
Car care. People care. All these have prices. This lose
                                                                  always changing. Times are always changing. Life
weight product, that weight gain product. This hair implant,
                                                                  continues to move on at a steady pace, and before you
that weave or wig. Everything has a price. This college
                                                                  know it the dreaded thoughts of regret come in like a flood
course, that personal self help seminar. Everything has a
                                                                  a saturate your mind with I wish I could of, should of, or
price. From volunteer support to job uniforms and or dress
                                                                  would of. Life is made to enjoy. Sure there are things in
codes. Everything is centered around some sort of price.
                                                                  life that sometimes make life seem so unfair and
This gold or platinum and diamond studded piece of jewelry
                                                                  unbearable. Cancer, racism, death, heart ache,
to the infamous Wal-Mart dollar ninety nine jewelry.
                                                                  disappointment, injustice, etc, etc, and etc.
Everything whether it’s real or imitation has a price. If you
want this pet or that pet, this water sport bike or that
                                                                  The list goes on and on. Sure we all have bad days. There
fishing rod, everything has a price. From Jenny Craig to
                                                                  are days that we don’t want to be bothered. There are
the personal trainer, everything has a price. I don’t care
                                                                  days that seem like no one understands us. There are
where you go or who you visit. I don’t care how far you
                                                                  days when
drive or how close you stay to home, everything has it’s
price. From pedicures to manicures. Piercings, tattoos,
                                                                  we feel like giving up. I know. I have my bad days too. That
to body molding, everything has it’s price. Money or the
                                                                  still does not take away the fact that this life, this moment,
acquisition thereof has it’s price. Prices are not only affixed
                                                                  no matter how disorganized or chaotic it is at this time, is
to the tangible things in life. There are prices that come
                                                                  still precious. It is still a gift. The loved ones around you
with all types of life decisions. There is a price that comes
                                                                  and in your life are so priceless. Too many people are still
with this relationship, and that relationship. Quality time
                                                                  spending their days in an avalanching quarry of regret.
must be spent here and there. This marriage, that marriage.
                                                                  Wishing they would have went on a cruise, opened up a
This divorce, that divorce. This job, that job. Everything
                                                                  business, took the promotion exam, wrote a book or what
has it’s price. Life comes with a price. Nothing is free.
                                                                  ever. Once life is spent. It’s gone. It can’t be refunded,
This life choice, that life choice. This bad decision, that
                                                                  recycled or cloned. You will not be able to download the
bad decision. What we have remembered, as well as
                                                                  update for another chance at life once it is spent. That’s
what we have forgotten. This meeting, that meeting. This
                                                                  why we should make sure we enjoy life as much as
auxiliary, that auxiliary. This event that event. Time for
                                                                  possible. Cut up. Laugh. Joke. Cry. Like and dislike. Just
this. Time for that. Everything has it’s price. Why even
                                                                  make sure you enjoy life the best you can. The price for
salvation has a price paid in full by Jesus Christ. Yes
                                                                  not getting the most out of life is to costly. Life is too short
everything has it’s price. Nothings free. When we
                                                                  to spend it in unhappiness and regret. Live. That’s what
sometimes over indulge in activities there is a price. If we
                                                                  life is all about. Continue to do the best to take care of
eat too much, or too little, excess this way or that way,
                                                                  yourself and enjoy life. I’m praying with you all and I love
there is a price. If we sleep too much, or too little, there is
                                                                  you. Until next month hang in there.
a price. Sometimes there is a real hefty price to pay for
over indulgences. A lot of the times our preventative focus
is on over indulgence. We are focused to a degree on
doing things in moderation. This is really great. This way        Mitch Felder
we can keep from over doing the things we shouldn’t.
Majority of the time over indulgence leads to a weighty           FWPD Chaplain
price of some type.

                                  4th Quarter 2009 - Page 29
An introduction is in order…                                               A Letter of Thanks
My name is Marc Povero                                             July 20, 2009
and I am the newest
General Director on your                                           Dear Officers:
POA Board of Directors.
A vacancy on the board                                             On behalf of myself and the family of Officer Teresa
occurred in April of this
                                                                   Martin, #2562, I want to thank all of you for all you
year and I was selected
by Rick Van Houten to fill                                         did for Teresa and for us throughout her entire battle
the position until the next                                        with cancer and her funeral service on June 15, 2009.
election in December. I                                            Words can never adequately express the gratitude
have been with the FWPD for 8 years and I am assigned              we have for all the prayers, cards, calls, visits, food,
to the Traffic Division as a motor officer. I have to level with   flowers, time donations and charitable donations that
you; I have not been the POA’s #1 fan in recent years.             you all made from the very beginning when Teresa
The infighting that had dominated the Association was a
                                                                   was diagnosed until the end and even still today. As
downright turnoff. I’m sure that I’m not the only member
who held that opinion. I saw a disconnect between the
                                                                   many of you experienced firsthand, Teresa was truly
POA and the membership and I even spoke to several                 touched and at times overwhelmed by the
officers who threatened to leave the organization. I was           outpouring of love and support by her police family.
skeptical.                                                         You guys were with her throughout this battle and
                                                                   your faith in her never waivered. Teresa was a fairly
Recently, however, the successful campaign to bring Meet           private person and I am so glad that she finally let
and Confer to our city and eventually securing our first           her guard down enough to allow you all to freely visit
contract was a turning point in my attitude toward the
POA. I joined hundreds of fellow officers in handing out
                                                                   her near the end and to reminisce about the old days
flyers and speaking with citizens about the magnitude of           on patrol. While this was obviously a difficult time
the election. Our Association was involved in a cause that         for us all knowing that a great life was being cut short,
would have lasting effects on our lives and the lives of our       I know we all did our part and I believe Teresa felt
families. In the most recent city council election, our PAC        complete in the end, as evidenced by one of the
supported Zim Zimmerman to represent District 3 in a runoff        songs she chose for her service, “I Could Not Ask
with Eric Fox. Against all odds, Zim won handily and               for More”.
personally thanked the PAC for making the difference.
These two important campaigns showed me the huge
significance of a united POA and the importance of staying         Please accept my sincere thanks on behalf of
involved.                                                          Teresa, myself, and the entire Teresa Martin family
                                                                   for everything you did, for the respect and honors
 Optimism has infected 904 Collier Street (POA address)!!          extended in connection with her memorial service
Bolstered by our successes in the political realm and by           and for the continued efforts of us all to keep her
the addition of a new, labor friendly chief, our monthly           memory alive. Teresa would tell us all to not be sad
membership meetings are STANDING ROOM ONLY!! Yes
                                                                   or mourn any longer, but instead, smile when you
there is free food, but I believe that there is a new attitude
of inclusion that has not been prevalent in the past. Don’t        think about her driving on the sidewalk, perfecting
just take my word for it, come on down and see for                 the drink chunk or being in a pursuit in low gear.
yourself…but come early to get a seat.                             While she may not be physically with us day in, day
                                                                   out, always remember those great times you had
I have enjoyed the first few months of representing you on         with her and realize that we now have a guardian
your Board. It has been busy, but very worthwhile. This            angel with badge, gun and taser watching over us
Board of Directors works hard for each and every one of
                                                                   (and probably laughing at all the funny and stupid
you guys and gals and it’s a privilege to serve with them.
I will be attending as many roll calls as I can over the next      things we do)! Fort Worth’s finest has become even
few months to hear your concerns and answer any                    a little Finer!
questions you may have. If you need an answer to a
question before I meet with you please don’t hesitate to           Keep her memory alive and be safe!
call me.
Stay safe my friends,
                                                                   Susan Siegmund and the
Marc                                                               Teresa Martin family

                                           Signal 50 - Page 30
                                      Hero for a Day
Linda Gasmaua local citizen in East Fort Worth created
the “Hero For A Day” Program to recognize Police
Officers and Firefighters in the DFW Metroplex for major
or minor everyday life inspiring events. Each month a
Police Officer and Firefighter is selected after being
nominated by citizens and/or co workers. Nominations
are made through the organizations website at:

Ms Gasmaua was
inspired to begin
honoring       Police
Officers and Fire
Fighters with this
award                of
appreciation after
being assisted by
Officer Dan St Clair
who gave such
dedicated          and
outstanding service.
A call which might
have seemed minor in nature to most officers, but not
to Officer St Clair who was so determined in solving the
problem in her neighborhood. He continued to
communicate with Ms Gasmaua even after the call to
keep her informed about what had been done to resolve
the issue. He really made an impact that was worth
recognizing. Officer Dan St Clair became the first Police
Officer recipient of the “Hero for a Day Award” on July
3, 2009 for his outstanding and dedicated service to
the community.

Ms Gasmua states that “He will always be my Hero!”
and wanted to recognize him publically. “If more officers
would be like Officer Dan St Clair, the world would be
filled with plenty of heroes!” was added.

                             4th Quarter 2009 - Page 31
     A Little Bit Of FWPD History
                                                   by Kevin Foster
In the late 1880’s, Tarrant County built a new jail to handle all the prisoners of a growing
community. Through its thirty-plus year history, the jail held over 5,000 prisoners including
many inmates held on the charge of “insanity”. As well as holding prisoners for trial, many
other died while waiting for trial.

Well over 100 prisoners met their untimely end in the old jail. Some prisoners died as a
result of suicide and many others from drug overdoses or natural causes, and a few by
murder from the hands of some of its inmates. Seven men were legally hanged by the
Tarrant County Sheriff, the last one stepping onto its ancient gallows in 1918. But the
strangest of deaths occurred in May of 1915 when a prisoner was murdered by a jailhouse
visitor. That visitor was the father of one of the prisoner’s victims.

J. W. Gilpin, also known as Walter Gilpin, was 50 years of age and a local businessman with some family ties to
Oklahoma. Those family ties included at least two wives and one daughter.

Gilpin operated a small grocery and drug store at 1100 W. 7th Street and lived in a small room in the back of the store.
This small room had no lights except for a small window to the north. His bunk occupied a corner of the room. The
room could only be accessed by going behind the counter and around a refrigerator which partitioned off the room.
The remainder of the furnishings consisted of a water keg and a shelf with some clothes and some personal effects. It
was in this small room that Gilpin committed his crimes.

On the morning of Friday, May 14, a young girl made the first outcry against Gilpin. She went with her parents to the
County Prosecutors office and gave her statement. Gilpin’s pattern became clear. He would befriend the girls with
free merchandise from the store and free candy. Eventually he would earn their trust and would lure them into the back
room. Gilpin would then assault the girls and send them home.

In the first girl’s statement, she related the names of other girls that Gilpin had abused in his shop. Among those
named was the 15-year-old daughter of a prominent local attorney. The following morning, the County Attorney
contacted the girl’s father, Jim Johnson, and told him of the investigation. Johnson then took his daughter in for an
interview. After her interview, Johnson was asked to go home and get his younger daughter for another interview. It
seemed she had been a victim as well. As the day grew long, Johnson had become inconsolable as to what his
daughters had suffered at the hands of Gilpin and his rage began to build.

Johnson left the County Attorney’s office and asked the Grand Jury Bailiff on duty to put his daughter on the streetcar
home when her interview was finished. He had an errand to run. Johnson had gone to his residence and retrieved his
.38 caliber pistol. He then went to the Tarrant County Jail.

By the time the County Attorney finished his investigation that day, eight young women had been interviewed and J.W.
Gilpin had been formally charged with Criminal Assault. This was one of the biggest cases of its kind ever investigated
in Tarrant County up until that time. Every law enforcement officer in the Sheriff’s office knew of the details and the
names of all involved. Seemingly, most of these officers had gathered in the Tarrant County Jail that afternoon. In fact,
the attendees were more of a Who’s Who in Tarrant County law enforcement.

Present in the jail that day was O.R. Montgomery, county detective and former Chief of Police in Fort Worth, longtime
deputies Largent and Deputy Walter Leverett, Deputy U.S. Marshall and former Tarrant County Sheriff John T. Honea,
and Tarrant County Commissioner Gibbins. Also on hand was the Tarrant County Jailer, a man named McCain. All of
these men were huddled in a small jail office when Jim Johnson arrived at the County Jail.

When Johnson entered the jail, he asked Jailer McCain to bring him J.W. Gilpin. Gilpin, without hesitation, went to the
jail cells upstairs and released Gilpin. McCain told Gilpin he had a visitor and told him to go down the steps to the
lobby. McCain declined to go with him as he had to look after the other prisoner. Not realizing anything was amiss,
Gilpin started down the steps. When he was half way down he saw that his visitor was pointing a gun at him. Gilpin

                                        Signal 50 - Page 32
began to beg but his pleas fell on deaf ears. Johnson opened fire with a .38 pistol and fired five shots at Gilpin. The
first struck Gilpin in the neck and the next shot slammed into his shoulder. The remaining shots took effect in Gilpin’s
arm and torso. Mortally wounded, Gilpin tumbled down the steps, landing at Johnson’s feet. He died moments later.

At the sound of the gunfire, the county lawmen came out of the office. Johnson raised his hands in the air and
immediately surrendered. Johnson was not jailed. Instead, he was walked into the office of the Justice of the Peace.
The JP set Johnson’s bond at $1000. Some of Fort Worth’s leading citizens immediately came forward and posted
bonds to secure Johnson’s release and two of Fort Worth’s leading lawyers volunteered their services to defend him.
Two weeks later on July 3 the Tarrant County Grand Jury returned a “no bill” on Johnson for the killing of Gilpin.

No one ever raised the questions of why so many leading lawmen were on hand to witness the shooting, why Gilpin
was allowed in the jail, why the jailer sent Gilpin down alone, or why no one tried to prevented the murder.

Johnson continued to practice law in Fort Worth for many years and was a highly respected citizen. Two years later,
O.R. Montgomery was once again made the Chief of Police in Fort Worth.

As a side note, “Jim Johnson” was not this attorney’s real name. Since he still has a great deal of family living
in Fort Worth, his name was changed to prevent any embarrassment to his family.

                                    In Memory
               William T. Wise                                             October 2, 1884
               George Francis Conant                                       October 27, 1916
               Joseph B. Loper                                             October 21, 1920
               Claude Henry Harmon                                         October 5, 1957
               Officer Hal Clovis Stephenson                               October 2, 1968
               Edward Martin Belcher                                       October 29, 1971
               Walter Stephen Taylor                                       October 5, 1988

               George P. Driskill                                          November 11, 1935
               Henry Paul Mailloux                                         November 29, 1975
               Robert F. Camfield                                          November 19, 1983

               John D. Nichols Jr.                                         December      22, 1906
               Robert P. “Bob” Hollowell                                   December      26, 1914
               Jeff C. Couch                                               December      20, 1920
               Frank Maco                                                  December      23, 1926
               Thomas C. Bounds                                            December      9, 1938
               Marvin Elton Wills                                          December      25, 1955
               Jimmie Franklin Chadwell                                    December      11, 1978
               Ronald Glenn Turner                                         December      20, 1978
               Alan F. Chick                                               December      27, 1993
               Henry “Hank” Nava Jr.                                       December      1, 2005
               Dwayne N. Freeto                                            December      17, 2006

                                4th Quarter 2009 - Page 33

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