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Dale L. Hinz

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About the Fort Worth Police Department

Fort Worth is located within North Central Texas.  In 1876, "Longhair" Jim Courtwright was given the difficult task of policing this roaring cowtown. With his reputation as a scout, a performer in Wild Bill Hickock's Wild West Show, and possessing a noted dexterity with firearms, Courtwright was able to give City Fathers what they wanted--a town where money and liquor flowed, but where bloodshed was cut to a trickle. It was under Courtwright that a "police force" was created--the authorization to fill two positions with men to assist him in his duties. A reputation went a long way in those days, and Courtwright's reputation with a gun was enough to make many men think twice before trying something that might draw the Marshal's attention. Reportedly as fast or faster than most famous gunmen of his time, Courtwright was able to reduce the number of killings in Fort Worth to less than at any time before or since”


Today the Fort Worth Police Department is broken down into six bureaus--Executive, North/West Field Operations, South/East Field Operations, Special Services, Operational Support, and Administrative Services--the work is then further split into more specialized units. Each unit within a division has a specialized area of expertise. The Fort Worth Police Department has 1,439 sworn personnel and approximately 362 non-sworn personnel. 


The patrol and general investigation functions of the Fort Worth Police Department are organized in four geographical divisions (north, south, etc.).  The specialized units of the Fort Worth Police Department include: K9, Mounted Patrol, Air Support, SWAT, Fugitive Unit, Gang Unit, School Security Initiative, Downtown Bike Patrol, and the Intelligence Unit. The Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team was first titled Tactical when the unit was established 1980. The primary function of the unit has always been to handle all Special Threat Situations involving barricaded subjects, sniper incidents, hostage situations, dignitary protection, and crowd control.


The secondary function of the unit is to assist other units within the department in the control of Part I offenses. This goal is addressed by the targeting of known criminals and affecting arrests for crimes in progress. Recently, another very important assignment was given to the SWAT Section. The unit is now responsible for training all sections of the Fort Worth Police Department in dynamic entry techniques for search warrant execution. The SWAT Section also provides other tactical training courses as needed.

Dale L. Hinz was a 30 year member of the Fort Worth Police Department and retired in 1999 at the rank of Sergeant. He started a career in law enforcement as a civilian dispatcher and during his career he worked patrol, as a member of the first SWAT Team, a robbery detective and was promoted to sergeant in 1987. Dale Hinz helped develop the first Officer Survival School and taught several different subjects to new recruits. Dale Hinz is the author of Panther's Rest: History of the Fort Worth Police Department 1873-21st Century.


According to the book description of Panther's Rest: History of the Fort Worth Police Department 1873-21st Century, “The history of the Fort Worth Police Department started in April 1873 and many factors brought about its existence at the confluence of the West Fork and Clear Fork of the Trinity River.  The location along one of the major cattle trails, the Chisholm, brought about issues both political and financial in nature and had a definite affect on city fathers. This and other influences would be major factors in the development of the Fort Worth Police Department as it moved toward the 21st Century.”

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