Fort Worth, Texas, Swears in First Black Police Chief

(Photo: NBC 5 DFW)

Fort Worth, Texas, Swears in First Black Police Chief

Joel Fitzgerald is the first African-American to lead the Fort Worth, Texas, police department.

Published October 26, 2015

New Forth Worth, Texas, police chief Joel Fitzgerald may be exactly who the department needs right now. The new head officer in charge is the first African-American to lead the Fort Worth police, an organization currently facing racial discrimination allegations from Black officers within the department.

Fitzgerald was sworn in Tuesday, Oct. 20. He previously served as police chief in Missouri City, Texas, and in Allentown, Texas. This will be the largest police department he's led thus far in his career. Fitzgerald is a graduate of Harvard and Northwestern. The basis of his leadership is bringing transparency back to the department. 

"The impetus is upon me to make sure that each and every person in this organization understands that when we speak of community, we're part of the community," said Fitzgerald, according to

"The police department as an active member in the community and we're to make sure that each contact that we have with each and every individual that we see is positive," the new chief said.

Fitzgerald succeeds interim police chief Rhonda Robertson, who stepped in after Jeff Halstead retired following a lawsuit filed by Black officers claiming “race discrimination, harassment, hostile work environment and retaliation” within the department.

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(Photo: NBC 5 DFW)

Written by Natelege Whaley


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