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Local City Adding More Police Officer Positions

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Fort Worth Police Graduation | Image by WFAA

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A new class of recruits for the Fort Worth Police Department (FWPD) recently graduated as the department takes full advantage of a new city ordinance passed by city council members to increase the number of officers on staff.

Earlier this year, Fort Worth City Council approved the addition of 73 new positions to the FWPD, increasing the police department from 1,743 sworn officers to 1,816. The ordinance will go into effect on October 1, 2022, which is the start of the department’s fiscal year.

The ordinance will also bring a higher pay scale for FWPD officers. First-year officer base pay is just over $66,000; maximum pay for assistant chiefs will be $180,000; the police chief position will be eligible for a max salary of $251,000 yearly.

After the new officer positions are approved, the Fort Worth police chief will be able to assign and reassign some officers to work as school resource officers — which is part of the department’s relationship with Tarrant County schools.

Council members are also entertaining an ordinance to add additional personnel to the Fort Worth Fire Department.

Fort Worth Police Officer David Nicholson also works as a recruiter for the FWPD.

“Well, it’s simple,” Nicholson said about what he looks for in potential recruits. “Someone who just loves to make a difference. Someone who wants to engage with people, someone who wants to grow.”

Nicholson said he is sure to tell would-be first-year officers they can earn more than the standard starting pay.

“That’s just the starting. And at the end of your first year, you’ll be around 70, 70 plus,” Nicholson said. “So, and then going on from there, we have pay for bilingual, if you have a college degree.”

Fort Worth competes with other police departments for recruits, so many departments must offer incentives and, in some cases, pay signing bonuses to attract new hires.

Nicholson uses the unique lifestyle, culture, and quality of life in Fort Worth as selling points as a recruiter.

“I fell in love with Fort Worth when I moved down here,” said Nicholson, who moved from Wisconsin a few years back.

Nicholson also uses the allure of Cowtown as one of his selling points to get more people interested in protecting and serving the city.

“If you really want that western experience, a family feeling a lot of tradition, good eating, good sightseeing, and good people. That’s our competitive edge,” said Nicholson.

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