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.