Fort Worth police have stopped arresting people for these types of crimes.

Here’s why…




Fort Worth police officers have been told to hold off on arresting people for low-level misdemeanors in response to the Tarrant County Jail being near capacity, according to an internal email obtained by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

“The Tarrant County Jail has reached a maximum capacity for population on available bed space and has implemented a new procedure on transporting from municipal jails,” the email says. “As such, this will affect the population in the FWPD jail.”

The Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office, which oversees jail operations, did not immediately return a request for comment.

The most recent jail population report, sent to the Texas Commission on Jail Standards on May 1, shows that Tarrant County is at 84% capacity. Of the people being detained, 192 are in jail on pretrial misdemeanor charges and 2,113 are pretrial felony cases. Another 122 people are jailed for violating parole.

Fort Worth police officers were asked to suspend all class C arrests. These misdemeanors are the lowest level crimes someone can be charged with and include traffic tickets, disorderly conduct and theft of less than $50.

If someone is convicted of a class C misdemeanor, there is no jail sentence.

Officers who believe they need to make a class C arrest must get approval from a higher rank, and approval should only be given in an emergency, the email says. Officers were urged to use their discretion on arrests for non-violent offenses that fall under the department’s cite and release procedure.

This suspension does not apply to violent crimes, the email says.

The cite and release policy allows officers to cite but not arrest someone for class A and B misdemeanors, too, according to the department’s general orders. Those offenses include possession of marijuana less than four ounces, graffiti that causes less than $750 in damage, and thefts of property worth less than $750. This policy does not apply to people suspected of violent crimes or people who have a warrant for a class B or higher offense.

Officer Buddy Calzada confirmed the email was sent to officers early Wednesday morning.

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