The interim chief of the Fort Worth Police Department is looking to the future as he is sworn in.
Ed Kraus expects to serve at least a few months as the city searches for a permanent chief. He replaces chief Joel Fitzgerald who was fired last week and is now appealing his termination.
Kraus has spent nearly three decades with Fort Worth PD. Mayor Betsy Price says the biggest test will be whether or not he can keep his officers engaged in their community.
Kraus spent part of his career at Fort Worth PD working as assistant chief under Fitzgerald, who was fired from his position on May 20.
“I will say that he needs prayers as much as I do,” Kraus said. “Everybody says they’re praying for me. I would ask the community to pray for him and his family as well.”
On Kraus’ to-do-list is continuing programs like the League to Win and the Police Athletic League that were put in place under Fitzgerald.
“The main thing is to strengthen the community relationships that we already started to build,” he said. “Chief Fitzgerald put us in a great position to do that.”
Bob Ray Sanders is a co-chair of the Fort Worth Race and Culture Task Force that was formed in 2017 to combat disparities between Fort Worth communities.
“Chief Kraus was our liaison between the police department and the task force. He attended every one of our meetings,” Sanders said.
The task force has spent the last two months making recommendations on changes to be made in the city. One of them was to create a police monitor and a community oversight board.
Sanders says Kraus’ involvement earned him respect from the members of the task force.
“In my opinion, he will hit the ground running in the sense that he will come with some backing of the community,” Sanders said.
Fort Worth Police Officers Association President Manny Ramirez says Kraus brings a new level of motivation to Fort Worth PD.
“I think that Chief Kraus is going to lead us in a tremendous direction starting today,” Ramirez said.
Kraus says he has not decided whether to apply for the job, but he is considering it.
Mayor Price says it’s too early to say what the timeline is in the search for a new chief.