Part 3 of a series on Crime in Fort Worth
FWBP: Has the police department budget been increasing over the past few years?
Noakes: One thing I want to do is compliment and commend our city leadership because when we had other large cities screaming for defunding and the city leadership caving to that our city leadership, mayor, council, city manager’s office, all stood up and said, “No, we are not defunding the police in Fort Worth Texas. It is not going to happen.”
I want to commend the citizens of Fort Worth. I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else. When we were going through this process I said that more than once. I don’t just want to be chief, I want to be the chief of police in Fort Worth, Texas, and serve and lead my Fort Worth family.
During that same defunding movement, the citizens of Fort Worth went to the polls and voted not only to renew the crime control and prevention district, the CCPD, a half-cent sales tax to address crime in Fort Worth, but for the first time ever they voted to approve it for a decade.
When other cities were losing hundreds of millions of dollars in some cases, we had our leadership and our city say, “Not only are we going to give you your budget, we’ll even give you a little bit of a bump and we’re going to make sure the CCPD goes through.” The voters made sure it went through. We are so much better positioned in my opinion, than other large cities. I feel fortunate coming to work every day to serve the citizens of Fort Worth, it’s amazing the support we have.
Cooke: I think the only thing I’d add is, and I’m glad the chief talked about it, and that’s really the appreciation and thanks for the voters this past July for the Crime Control and Prevention District. That was a difficult time to try to have that passed and it passed by big numbers. I don’t think it was a close vote.
But I also want to give the police department a lot of credit. Now Chief Noakes working with the chief at that time, Ed Kraus, actually talked about how to reallocate some of that CCPD funding to more community programs so that people knew that some of this money in the Crime Control and Prevention District goes to crime prevention, goes to community programs so it’s not always about adding more police officers, but providing more resources in the community that can also prevent crime.
Both those things were occurring at the same time but I’m glad the chief recognized the vote of the citizens of Fort Worth. That was a big deal during a difficult time. That ensures that that one half cent sales tax is there for the next ten years.