But even before the column appeared last night, citizens were voicing concerns about the survey.
Police Chief Jeffrey Halstead a short time ago issued the following statement on the department's Facebook page.
Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/11/19/5352309/fort-worth-police-stopped-motorists.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy
TO OUR CITIZENS:
"The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hired off-duty Fort Worth Police officers to assist with the Roadside Survey by providing traffic safety and security of cash used to pay survey participants. This survey was intended to be voluntary and was conducted by NHTSA personnel.
"We are reviewing the approval process for this survey’s utilization of FWPD off-duty officers not only to ensure that our policies and procedures were followed, but also to ensure that any off-duty job is in the absolute best interest of our citizens.
"We realize this survey caused many of our citizens frustration and we apologize for our participation.
“I agree with our citizens concerns and I apologize for our participation. Any future Federal survey of this nature, which jeopardizes the public’s trust, will not be approved for the use of Fort Worth police.”
A Dallas woman was arrested in Bedford this month after federal and local drug officers spotted a small plastic bag sticking out of the low V-neck of her blouse, according to an article reported by Domingo Ramirez Jr.
A female drug agent removed the bag, and a later test found that it contained methamphetamine.
For nearly three months, Fort Worth police looked into the claims of a former detective from neighboring Benbrook who was at the center of an investigation of a hit-and-run wreck that hurt people in west Fort Worth.
Jason Montgomery (shown here) told Fort Worth police that his truck had been stolen.
Evidence from the wreck, however, made investigators suspect that Montgomery and another man ran from the scene.
Montgomery turned himself in Wednesday on a warrant for failure to stop and render aid at an accident causing serious bodily injury.
FORT WORTH -- A nursing home aid who was video-taped mistreating a woman with Alzheimer's disease was sentenced to five years probation.
State District Judge Wayne Salvant ordered Maria F. Acosta, 44, of Arlington, to serve 90 days in jail and sentenced her to five years deferred adjudication probation on Thursday.
Acosta was accused of pinching the leg and pulling the hair of Mynez Cater, 84. Carter was under Acosta's care at the time of the offense, Aug. 23, 2012, which occured at Heritage Oaks Nursing Home, 1112 Gibbins Road in Arlington, according to court records.
Acosta pleaded guilty to injury to the elderly on Sept. 16 and elected to have Salvant assess her punishment, said Anna Hernandez, Tarrant County prosecutor. Salvant made his ruling after reviewing a pre-sentencing report and the video tape of the offense.
Relatives said they noticed their mother behaving oddly when they visited the nursing home and hid a camera, smaller than a preschooler's crayon, in Carter's room. The camera downloaded images of Acosta mistreating Carter, one relative said.
“When you place a loved one in a nursing home, you expect them to be cared for as you would care for them,” Hernandez said. “The defendant violated that trust.” -- Mitch Mitchell
FORT WORTH -- A jury sentenced a Fort Worth man with a history of child abuse to life in prison this week for slaying his 16-day-old son.
Armando A. Hernandez, 25, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to causing serious bodily injury to a child and the jury took less than an hour on Wednesday to sentence him to life in prison, according to a news release from the Tarrant County district attorney's office.
Hernandez was watching his newborn son, Giovanni, and two other young children on July 6, 2012 while his girlfriend and her mother went shopping. About 20 minutes after the women left, Hernandez called relatives and told them that Giovanni was not breathing. And then Hernandez called 911, the release said.
Emergency medical personnel transported the baby to Cook Children's Medical Center where he died. The Tarrant County medical examiner's office ruled the death a homicide caused by blunt force trauma to the head.
During the trial, Tarrant County prosecutors Melinda Westmoreland and Dale Smith presented evidence in state District Judge Wayne Salvant's court that Hernandez pleaded guilty to injury to a child and was sentenced to three years in prison for abusing a former girlfriend's 14-month-old son. That child suffered multiple fractures. -- Mitch Mitchell
An 80-year-old woman accused of trying to shoot her mate because she was tired of his talk and late night outings was released from Mansfield jail Wednesday after a radio DJ posted her bond.
Though initially arrested by Fort Worth police on suspicion of attempted murder, Tempie Fisher Strickland was instead charged Wednesday with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the incident.
Her bond, which had been set at $100,000, was reduced to $15,000.
On Wednesday, Rickey Smiley, host of The Rickey Smiley Morning Show (which plays locally on KBFB 97.9), posted bond for Strickland, according to his website.
Although police previously described the alleged victim as Tempie Strickland's husband, Tarrant County records show the couple had actually divorced in 2010.
They, however, were still living together Sunday when, police say, they became involved in an argument over Sterling Strickland's late nights out and how he talked to Tempie Strickland.
According to police, Tempie Strickland told officers she was fed up with Sterling Strickland but due to his size, didn't want to get in a physical fight with him. Instead, she retrieved a revolver from the master bedroom, put it to his chest and pulled the trigger, but the gun jammed and didn't go off, police have said.
Sterling Strickland then called the police. Police said the man, however, did not want Tempie Strickland arrested.
In a jail interview before her release, Strickland told Fox 4 News that she never intended to shoot her ex-husband.
FORT WORTH - Tarrant County sheriff’s deputies responded to the Star-Telegram printing plant in the 600 block of John B. Sias Memorial Parkway on Friday after a series of threatening phone calls.
Shortly after 9 a.m. Tarrant County Sheriff’s Department dispatchers received a 911 call reporting a threat at the printing facility, said Terry Grisham, department spokesman.
“Since that time we have had multiple personnel on the scene and have started an investigation,” Grisham said. “We have several people involved and they will remain there at the plant as long as necessary.”
Grisham declined to release details about the nature of the threat, but Star-Telegram executives confirmed that threats had been made against the facility on Friday morning.
Earlier this week, the newspaper announced that it will outsource its printing and trucking facilities and sell the building. - Mitch Mitchell
The North Central Texas Council of Governments is sponsoring the Urban Shield this weekend to test the region’s ability to respond to terrorist events and other emergencies.
Does that sound reasonable and appropriate to you?
Some don't think so.
About 25 people stormed out othe Arlington City Council chambers Tuesday after calling the regional disaster drill a “militarization of the police.”
Staff writer Monica S. Nagy reported that, "the training exercises became controversial to some people after they learned that first responders in Boston had been through the training before the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing (shown in the photo here)."
“Our people should not be trained to do that," complained Douglas Bell at the Arlington meeting. "It is unnecessary.”
FORT WORTH --A 54-year-old parolee received a 70-year prison sentence for
robbing a phone store and a pharmacy in Fort
Worth on separate occasions this year.
The jury deliberated about an hour on Tuesday before
sentencing Reginald A. Smith to the 70-year term, a news release from the Tarrant County district attorney's office said. On Monday, Smith pleaded guilty
to two charges of robbery for holding up Metro PCS, 3628 E. Rosedale St., on Jan. 8, and for
robbing CVS, 1201 N. Beach Street,
on March 20.
In both cases, Smith threatened women store employees,
telling them to “give me all your money or I’m going to blow your head off.”
In addition to the two robberies
Smith committed this year, prosecutors Art Clayton and Erin Cofer also
presented evidence of Smith’s prior criminal history, which included previous
convictions for burglary, aggravated robbery and robbery.
The victims in most all of his crimes were young women, the release said. The jury also heard that Smith was on parole for convictions out of McClennan County and was unemployed and living
with his retired parents at the time of the Fort Worth robberies. -- Mitch Mitchell
The award is presented each year to Texans "who have demonstrated an outstanding dedication to the mission of children’s advocacy centers across the state," according to an Arlington police news release.
“Garth has dedicated much of his career to seeking justice for children in crisis, and his passion for doing what is right is evident in all he has accomplished,” Chief Will Johnson said. “His hard work, perseverance and vision have truly set him apart from the rest.”
But if you're among the many people who enjoy listening to public safety radio "traffic," be aware that Arlington police will be conducting training scenarious through Friday, according to an e-mail from Tiara Ellis Richard, police spokeswoman.
Here's part of what she had to say about the training cycle, Wednesday Oct. 30 through Friday, Nov. 1:
"On those dates between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., expect to hear radio traffic that could sound realistic. However, this is ONLY A TRAINING EXERCISE."
But if there's a real SWAT standoff during that time, we'll let you know.
A woman claims a former police officer raped her, according to statements made in a Tarrant County trial this week.
But this isn't a criminal trial.
Lawyers for Bobby Lynn Beasley, a former Dalworthington Gardens police sergeant (shown here), say his accuser is pursuing a civil lawsuit to win a monetary judgement that could help her get out of debt.
Thomas Ramirez Jr., who has a long criminal history, has been sentenced to life in prison following his conviction last week for firing a weapon out of the window of a sports utility vehicle as he drove in a residential neighborhood and killing a man who was sitting in his apartment living room.
The Arlington man was convicted Friday in connection with the Aug. 21, 2011, slaying of Ivan Daniel Valenzuela.
Ramirez was accused of being drunk and high on cocaine when he fatally wounded Valenzuela in the left temple while he was in his west central Arlington apartment.
A clerical error led to a withdrawal from the wrong account last month at a Fort Worth credit union, which mistakenly put a deputy city marshal under suspicion of fraud, athorities said.
Those charges were dropped Thursday against Sgt. Mike Martinez Jr., 45, the deputy marshal who was arrested last week on accusations that he withdrew $500 from another person’s savings account, city officials said.
“Police investigators and the credit union have concluded that no offense was committed,” said city spokesman Bill Begley in an email Thursday.
A family in southeast Arlington is grieving the loss of their dachshund, Cody.
Video surveillance images showed two strangers broke into their back yard last Saturday and drowned the dog in a hot tub.
“Was it gang-induction related? Was it personal? Could someone have been upset because our dog was barking?” questioned Pam Bennett, who said her family has lived in Lonesome Dove Estates near Don Misenhimer Park for 13 years. “Why did they choose our house that night?”
Neither drug nor arson charges will be filed against against five people seriously burned in an August car fire in Lake Worth, a case that authorities suspected was sparked by a mobile "shake-and-bake" meth lab.
Evidence of chemicals or drugs was destroyed by the fire, said Lake Worth fire marshal Mike Voorhies on Thursday.
“Some type of chemicals created a flash fire in the back seat of the car,” Voorhies said. But, he also stated that, “We sent in samples, but it wasn’t enough to indicate what was in the car.”
Shake-and-bake meth is made by combining unstable ingredients in a 2-liter soda bottle and shaking it. But one tiny mistake can create an explosion. The Lake Worth case raised the question about whether this method has come to North Texas.
Local drug enforcement officials say, however, this portable process is much more popular in Midwestern and Southern states.
Texans, it seems, still get most of their meth from Mexico, authorities say.