Texas Police Chief Urges Off Duty Officers To Wear Uniforms At Place Of Worship

Tom Gantert

The Fort Worth police chief is urging his officers to wear their uniforms at religious ceremonies they attend off duty.

Fort Worth, TX – The Fort Worth police chief has urged his police officers to wear their uniforms at religious ceremonies after attacks that included a shooting at a Texas church and a stabbing during a New York Hanukkah celebration.

Police Chief Ed Kraus authorized officers to wear their full uniform while they are off-duty attending worship services, according to KXAS.

Chief Kraus said he hoped the sight of police officers in full uniform would give worshippers a sense of security.

"This is an easy win for us and the congregations,” Chief Kraus said, according to KXAS. “The taxpayers aren’t paying anything additionally for this. We’re not telling our officers they have to go out to houses of worship. This is for officers who are already practicing their worship and just allowing them to wear uniform while doing so."

The Fort Worth Police Department also made the announcement on Twitter at the time.

“In the wake of the local attack on the West Freeway Church of Christ last Sunday, as well as the attacks on Jewish communities and church services nationally, Chief Kraus is authorizing and encouraging our officers who attend worship services to do so in full police uniform,” the department tweeted on Jan. 3.

“This simple act will help reassure congregants, as well as serve as a deterrent for anyone intending harm. Ideally, officers will first inform their worship leaders and obtain their agreement," the department said.

Chief Kraus told KXAS that the idea came about after he put out a directive to make sure patrol officers were making stops at houses of worship on their beat.

The chief said he wanted the patrol officers to get out and interact with congregants and reassure them they were safe. An assistant chief brought up the idea about officers who go to houses of worship on their own time and being allowed to wear their full uniform, according to KXAS.

The department’s prior policy stated that officers are only allowed to be in uniform while they are on-duty, working a part-time job that has been approved, or appearing in court.

The response has been positive, Chief Kraus said.

Comments (28)
PF4L
PF4L

Good idea but this must include all members not just patrol officers.

No. 1-11
PPD1942
PPD1942

If you live in VA, those that were elected to represent us in Richmond are taking away our rights! They just enacted a house rule that no one except the capitol police could be armed on the capitol grounds. Oh, and they do not have to go through any screening so they in effect exempted themselves from the rule. Then, to top it off, they tried to say that the Chief of the Capitol Police told them he recommended the rule. He was quick to set them straight though. He made it clear that he did not recommend the rule. He was only recommend to them how to put the plan in place because he had no choice because he works for them. Just following orders, boss.

Excalibr4
Excalibr4

I see no problem at all. It simply gives the officers the choice, which based on all the church shootings, is a good idea.

Marxest
Marxest

It's a good idea. I don't have a problem with uniformed officers in churches and other places of worship, especially if it will help keep those sites secure. However I must say that in the end I don't believe that uniformed officers will deter criminals and terrorists from attacking religious sites. If those deranged individuals are determined to carry out such depraved attacks, the presence of an officer will not deter them.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

A man just shot two people in a church full of cops. What's a uniform going to do? Let the next shooter know who he has to shoot first?

USA-1
USA-1

I think this is a good thing. They should wear there uniform in church and put themselves wear they can see the doors and can watch the congregation also. I know that I would feel safer.

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

Police officers are encouraged to talk to the priest, or pastor, or rabbi, or imam first to see if they allow police uniforms at regular services (not talking about police funerals here). The wearing of the uniform may be seen as disruptive, or incompatible with Christ's message of universal love, humility and fundamental equality.

bryantrent
bryantrent

Good idea

Kevcali
Kevcali

LEOs are already 24/7. Why make them targets in houses of worship? I'd rather see a perp taken out than see the perp go somewhere else where there may not be any armed parishioners

IseeWhereThisIsGoing
IseeWhereThisIsGoing

I wouldn't. When I'm off duty, I'm off today. No uniform will be worn. Not only that, but it's not just a uniform: it's the vest, belt, and arms that go with the uniform, none of white I want to have to wear to church. I would, however, bring my firearm in a concealed manner, as we as my badge, and might even grab a set of handcuffs, just in case I need to use them.

But no, wearing a uniform when off duty without the rest of the equipment is just asking to make you a bigger, more vulnerable target.

ACSO-Charles-One
ACSO-Charles-One

This is a dumb idea unless you are going to have your portable radio with you the department knows you are there in uniform and all the necessary elements are attached. Your department is liable for any action you take, if you are injured as a result of action you take it is covered as an on-duty accident 4850 time to be exact. This idea looks nice for PR, but this comes from the chief that wants to take away your gun rights, believes in sanctuary cities and the list goes on.


News

FEATURED
COMMUNITY