Fort Worth Police Chief Jeff Halstead officially announced his retirement from the city’s police department today.
Halstead did not directly say why he was retiring during the city’s pre-council meeting, but he told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram he was planning to start his own consulting business.
Watch the announcement:
Halstead has dealt with his fair share of controversy during his tenure, most recently, complaints filed against the department citing racial discrimination within its ranks. He also told the Star Telegram he was not forced to step down because of those controversies.
Halstead acknowledged in the meeting that he didn’t know fully what he was getting into when he first became the city’s police chief.
“I had no idea that that first year would be so challenging,” he said. “[But] your community is the most supportive of the law enforcement community that I’ve seen in 26 years in this business.”
Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price congratulated Halstead on his retirement.
“It’s a personal decision and we respect that,” Price said. “We may not like that, but we can certainly respect it.”
She also told Halstead his contributions to the city’s police department outweighed any negative attention it received during his tenure.
“There are going to be some who focus on the negatives, but you can’t argue with the fact that crime is down substantially in this city,” she said.
Assistant Chief Rhonda Robertson is expected to be named Interim Chief when Halstead officially leaves the force on Jan. 9.