About the Chief

Chief Joel FitzgeraldDr. Joel Fitzgerald became Chief of Police of the City of Fort Worth Police Department in October 2015. Chief Fitzgerald oversees one of the largest police departments in Texas in one of the fastest growing locales in the United States, managing over 1,700 sworn officers and 500 civilian employees, encompassing an area of 473 square miles, with a population of approximately 854,113 people, and an annual budget that exceeds 300 million dollars.

Chief Fitzgerald was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1971, and was educated locally and attended Villanova University, where he graduated with a Baccalaureate Degree (B.A.) Liberal Arts. He continued his education at Eastern University, where he earned his Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree, and later earned a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Business Administration.

Fitzgerald received appointment to the City of Philadelphia Police Department in 1992, and served over 17 years in various ranks before his 2009 selection to serve as Chief of Police in Missouri City, Texas. In December 2013, he became Chief of Police in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where he faithfully served until 2015.

In each position, Chief Fitzgerald demonstrated innate leadership traits while being instrumental in those agencies becoming benchmarks for other jurisdictions seeking to promote community problem solving, engage in intelligence-led violent crime abatement, to obtain accreditation, and that dedicate themselves to the enhancement of procedural justice. He has been a reformer who understands how to evolve, and refines strategies in a manner consistent with the tenets of 21st Century Policing.

Joel is a member of the Major Cities Chief’s Association, the Police Executive Research Forum, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and is a graduate of the Harvard University Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program. He completed the FBI National Academy-National Executive Institute, FBI-National Academy-LEEDS Program, DEA (DUCA), Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command, and the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF).

He and his wife Detective Pauline Fitzgerald have three children (one in law enforcement) and three grandchildren.

Mission Statement


The Fort Worth Police Department exists to safeguard the lives and property of those we serve, to reduce the incidence and fear of crime, and to enhance public safety through partnering and building trust with the community. We strive to accomplish our mission by conducting ourselves with the highest ethical standards, respecting the sanctity of human life, and preserving the rights and dignity of each individual in our diverse community.