Dallas/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on June 12, 2024
Former Fort Worth Park & Recreation Employee Charged with Arson and Drug OffensesSource: City of Fort Worth, Texas

The City of Fort Worth is grappling with a recent incident involving a former Park & Recreation Department employee, Frederick Lamond Harris, who was implicated in an arson case and found in possession of drugs. According to a statement released by the City of Fort Worth, Harris was terminated from his position following his arrest and subsequent criminal charges.

On the night of June 3, patrol officers and the Fort Worth Fire Department's Arson Investigation Division responded to a vehicle fire at a local apartment complex, and after an investigation, a warrant for Harris' arrest was issued. His arrest occurred on June 11 and drugs packaged for sale were discovered on his person while he was being taken into custody by the Fort Worth Police Department, an act that led to immediate termination from his job which started five months prior. The Fort Worth Fire Department Chief, Jim Davis, emphasized the gravity of the situation, stating, "In Fort Worth, we take using fire as a weapon very seriously. In such cases, we will find you and we will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law", as per the City of Fort Worth.

Now facing felony arson charges alongside State and Federal drug possession charges, Harris' legal troubles spotlight the stringent measures that city officials are prepared to enforce when city employees are found stepping outside the confines of the law and endangering the community. The Park & Recreation Department, in its effort to sustain accountability, reiterated its commitment to maintaining a workforce that reflects professionalism and proper judgment as Harris' actions starkly contrasted the norms expected of a city employee in Fort Worth.

Though this situation has cast a shadow, the statement from the city reminds the public that the Park & Recreation Department consists largely of dedicated employees who consistently perform their duties with integrity. The situation with Harris, however, stands as an exception and not a reflection of the department's collective ethic. The city has pledged ongoing transparency with the community as they deal with the fallouts of these events and hold their employees to the high standards expected within the municipality.