Cowtown Adopts New Crime Prevention Programs

Fort Worth Police Department Unit
Fort Worth Police Department Unit | Image by Fort Worth Police Department/Facebook

The City of Fort Worth announced it would spend considerable sums of taxpayer money to support new nonprofit initiatives to curb crime.

The Fort Worth City Council approved dispensing $1.9 million to four new nonprofit-led crime prevention programs, per a press release. Funds for these programs will come from the Crime Control and Prevention District’s (CCPD) Community-Based Programs Fund.

Advocates for Community Transformation (ACT), Communities in Schools of Greater Tarrant County, and NewDay Services for Children & Families will receive $300,000 each for their programs. Meanwhile, Journey4Ward is slated to get $291,600. The contracts between the City of Fort Worth and each entity officially began on April 1 and will run until March 31, 2027.

NewDay Services for Children & Families is launching a program called FOCUS+ to help parents provide safer homes for their children. Through the new funds, the program will assist 500 parents at risk of having their children removed by Child Protective Services or who already have children in foster care by giving them tools and coping strategies to see that their children thrive. Participants will be from across the city, but especially White Settlement, Western Hills, Handley, Sansom Park, and Polytechnic High School.

ACT’s program, called Collaborative Legal Advocacy Solution to High Crime in Fort Worth, supports those residing in areas plagued with crime. It aims to act as a bridge to foster better awareness and collaboration between local police, code compliance officers, the city attorney, and other stakeholders. Through the funding initiative, the program will aid 1,869 citizens residing in council districts 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, and 11. The outreach efforts will begin in the neighborhoods of Northside, Highland Hills, and Como, among others.

The program planned by Communities in Schools of Greater Tarrant County is called Case Management and Crime Prevention for At-Risk Students in Tarrant County. The funds will go towards paying three vice presidents and a director, as well as defraying their transportation costs and other expenses while they serve at-risk students residing in districts 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 11. The aim of the program is to assess students’ needs through home visits and other actions to promote their academic advancement and overall success.

Finally, Journey4Ward’s new counseling program will address the mental health needs of at-risk youth residing in Fort Worth. The funds will go towards a counselor, who will meet with adolescents and address the factors driving them towards criminal behavior, as well as an outreach coordinator and office supplies.

These nonprofits have operated across the metroplex, including in Dallas, where crime rates remain high, partly due to a deficit of police officers. For instance, monthly examinations of data by the Metroplex Civic & Business Association consistently show that Downtown Dallas logs significantly more crime than the downtown area of Fort Worth. Notably, the latter is patrolled by a specialized police unit and private security teams.

The Dallas Police Department, on the other hand, has only around 3,000 officers, even though a City analysis claimed closer to 4,000 were needed to maintain public safety. Yet police resources remain strapped as the Dallas City Council recently approved a budget for DPD of just $654 million this fiscal year. This is much less than what other high-crime jurisdictions like Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City spend on their police departments.

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