Fort Worth police confiscated 17 guns, filed 19 new felony charges and made 24 arrests — 14 of which were gang members — between May 10 and 18.
The police activity in the city, along with the release of those numbers, is part of the department’s new #FortWorthSafe initiative. The program was designed to be a crime reduction effort in response to a particularly violent 2020, where Fort Worth saw the most homicides in 26 years with 112 slayings.
The city has seen at least 37 homicides this year, as of Friday.
Fort Worth Safe will combine enforcement efforts from police with community action in hopes of reducing the number of violent and gang-related crimes in the city, according to a news release.
“Over the last year we have seen an unfortunate increase in violent crime in our community,” Police Chief Neil Noakes said in the release. “In the month of April 2021 alone, we saw multiple shootings where innocent bystanders were caught in the crossfire. As a community we need to stand together and fight for our city: this is our Fort Worth. We must work together and show those who engage in this type of violent criminal activity it will not be tolerated.”
Police will use technology in the department’s Real Time Crime Center to gather information on crime trends that will be used to adapt strategy, according to the release.
Police in gang units will focus on known gang members with prior gun arrests, while the criminal tracking and fugitive units will focus on apprehending violent criminals as soon as police have warrants.
Police will also focus extra resources toward game rooms in areas with higher crime rates, while community members will be encouraged to provide feedback on how police are handing operations and transparency in their neighborhoods.
To bolster community policing efforts, Fort Worth will have neighborhood police officers who communicate with business owners and residents and work to build rapport with youth in the neighborhoods to which they are assigned. That effort will be reinforced with school resource officers during school breaks while those officers work to keep areas around schools safe, according to the release.
Police hope these community policing efforts will help residents and business owners feel more comfortable talking about violent crime and police transparency in their areas.
“We will be working with community members to root out the people and conditions that are contributing to violent crime,” Noakes said.
Here’s a look at some of the numbers from the Fort Worth Safe data release, looking at police activity from May 10 to May 18:
24 arrests, 14 known gang members
19 new felony charges
15 felony warrants cleared
17 weapons confiscated
23.7 ounces of marijuana confiscated
4.84 grams of heroine seized
1 stolen vehicle recovered
Identifying high-crime areas
Police have also compiled data on hot spots for violent crimes, creating maps that show hot spots color coded by date range and also marking parks.
The department has identified eight sections of the city with the highest crime rates: Northwest, central homeless corridor, east central, east 1, east 2, south central, south 1 and south 2.
The map shows areas with the highest saturation of violent crimes, specifically homicide, robbery and aggravated assault.
Maps focusing in on specific areas with high violent crime rates identify parks, game rooms, narcotics locations and the specific locations of individual crimes, color coded to show the date range of those crimes.
The maps can be viewed at police.fortworthtexas.gov/Public/hot-spot-maps.