Some in Fort Worth concerned about $300K cost of police monitor department

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The estimated $300,000 price tag for a Fort Worth police monitor department is concerning some city leaders, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

The city’s Race and Culture Task Force has recommended the creation of such a department, to consist of a civilian monitor with a legal or law enforcement background and an assistant. The proposal suggested the monitor receive $218,000 in salary and benefits annually and the assistant $74,000. The department’s goal would be to increase accountability and transparency by tracking internal police investigations, making recommendations and acting as a liaison between the police department and the community, the newspaper reported.

Fort Worth City Council member Cary Moon said the salaries are too high for a small department. Although council member Brian Byrd called the proposal “a big salary for a person who is going to manage only one other,” he said the monitor could help with community relations and the post should be treated like a director-level position.

Bob Ray Sanders, co-chairman of the race relations task force, said the position is important for the city.

“I realize the city manager has to think about every dollar, but if they’re really serious about this, that amount of money shouldn’t make any difference,” he told the newspaper.

The task force formed after the arrest of Jacqueline Craig in 2016. She and her two daughters were arrested that December after she called police to resolve a dispute with a neighbor. A video of the incident sparked complaints of excessive use of force by police, the newspaper reported.

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