Issues from curfews to alcoholic beverage licenses were discussed in the first Fort Worth City Council meeting of the new year.
With 82 items on the agenda, the council was kept busy behind the scenes with budgetary and legal proceedings but also tackled major talking points during the public assembly.
At the start of the meeting, multiple groups were presented for recognition in front of the council, such as the Fort Worth Police Department Crisis Intervention and Response K9 Program, the Library’s Spanish Speaking GED Program, and the 2022 Class of Aspiring Young Lawyers Summer Camp.
First on the business agenda was the proposal to rename the Hillside Community Center in honor of Atatiana Carr Jefferson, who was shot and killed in her home by a Fort Worth police officer a block from the center.
“Renaming the city center would be, in my opinion, a rebirth of change in the city of Fort Worth,” one resident commented. The council voted unanimously in favor of the change, as The Dallas Express previously reported.
Next on the agenda was a review of the city’s curfew policy for minors.
The curfew, which was set to expire Saturday, mandated that minors under the age of 17 could not be out alone from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. from Sunday through Thursday or midnight to 6 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
“Safety is our number one priority, and curfews are paramount for the months when school is out,” said Capt. Marcy Conrad of the Fort Worth Police Department.
Conrad argued that curfew violations are seldom enforced, yet they are a good tool for officers to keep the streets safe.
District 9 resident Tamara H. was on the other side of the debate.
“There is no practicality to enforcing this ordinance,” she said. “Data has not been provided to show whether there is a correlation between crime statistics and curfew violations … this criminalizes our youth.”
The council later voted to extend the curfew by 30 days and vote again after more information on curfew statistics is provided at a later date, as The Dallas Express reported.
Texas A&M’s proposal to expand its campus into downtown Fort Worth was heard to finish the session. With the proposal passing unanimously, Texas A&M will be approved to add a new law school and research center, which will cost an estimated $85 million each.
Mayor Mattie Parker had said about the prospect in May, “Texas A&M is the future of Fort Worth. This is truly the most transformational thing that will happen in Fort Worth that will continue into perpetuity.