After having won the admiration of city officials in his interim status as Fort Worth Chief of Police, Edwin Kraus now officially has the position with the interim label removed.
The Fort Worth City Council on Dec. 10 passed a resolution in support of City Manager David Cooke’s decision to keep Kraus in the position after he had served in the interim capacity since May 28.
“The decision to continue the leadership of the Fort Worth Police Department under Chief Kraus is the right choice,” Mayor Betsy Price said. “I have always been impressed with Kraus’ professionalism, leadership, and rapport with the community, rank and file officers, and city management. A homegrown officer who has served Fort Worth for more than 26 years, Kraus is a well-respected leader with a servant’s heart.”
Kraus, a 27-year veteran of the Fort Worth Police Department, began his law enforcement career in 1992. He has served as an officer, detective and sergeant in several units in the Patrol Bureau. His command experience includes assignments as a neighborhood policing district lieutenant, a Patrol Division captain and commander of the Training Division.
“Chief Kraus brings more than a quarter-century of broad-based law enforcement experience to the chief’s office, and even more important, he has the support and respect of his fellow officers and stakeholders in the Fort Worth community,” Cooke said in announcing the new chief. “Chief Kraus’ vast experience, combined with strong leadership skills and a broad knowledge of Fort Worth, make him the ideal choice to lead our police department.”
Kraus has served in executive roles as deputy chief over the Investigative and Support Command, assistant chief over the Support Bureau and executive assistant chief over the Patrol Bureau.
Kraus earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Texas Tech University and a master’s degree in criminal justice from Tarleton State University. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, the FBI National Executive Institute and the Caruth Police Institute’s Leadership Course.
Kraus took over after Joel Fitzgerald was fired following a series of controversies. Fitzgerald had attempted to keep the city from hiring a new chief, but a recent court ruling allowed Fort Worth to hire a new chief.
Seven speakers addressed the council, four in support of the appointment, three in opposition.
“What we have is an SSDD situation. Same stuff, different dude,” citizen Waymon Brown said. “Nobody’s trying to fix the problem. That’s why we come down here. That’s why we get mad as hell.”
Cindy Boling recalled first meeting Kraus years ago when he was captain of the training academy. She said it was under difficult and tragic circumstances.
“He proved to me he doesn’t make a promise he doesn’t intend to keep,” she said.
Greg Hughes, however, argued that he was dissatisfied city officials didn’t do a more extensive search outside the department before making their decision.”I’m disappointed at the opaque process,” he said. “Business as usual will not build trust.”
He then suggested the department team with community members for a community oversight of the police force.
Ozell Everhart voiced her support for Kraus, citing his concern for senior citizens.
“He’s been out to our community quite a few times. I’ve been in Fort Worth since 1946 and I’ve never seen a police chief come out to our community,” she said. “Mr. Kraus is the right man for the job.”
District 5 Councilwoman Gyna Bivens offered her support, recalling two occasions where Kraus worked to have tapes released in controversial situations. The most recent was shortly after the shooting of Atatiana Jefferson by officer Aaron Dean in her home in early October while he was responding to a neighbor’s call for a safety check.
“That signaled a tone,” Bivens said. “This man is at the table, and he’s at every table.”
District 6 Councilman Jungus Jordan said, “You learn many, many things in leadership, but you can’t learn what’s in your heart. You live that. And if you’ve ever seen Ed Kraus in action, you know his heart is true and he’s going to do the right thing.
“What he’s made of is what’s great for Fort Worth.”
District 7 Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem Dennis Shingleton emphatically cast his vote of approval, citing how impressed he was with Kraus’ ability to perform in an interim basis under fire in the most controversial of times.
“We’d have been crazy to take anyone else,” Shingleton said. “Ed Kraus is the man for this job, and by God he’ll show you that he is.”