LGBT? Fort Worth PD wants you

Fort Worth Police Department is looking for a few good men — and women — to join the force, and they are specifically looking for recruits from the city’s diverse communities. Here is a video by Chris, an openly gay officer, talking about his experience as an officer with FWPD and encouraging other LGBT people to consider joining the department too.

Pretty cute video. Check it out.

—  Tammye Nash

Sewing supplies needed for new LGBT youth program at Samaritan House

A new program aimed at helping LGBT youth find a passion for fashion is in the works, and donations are needed to help kick-start the program.

The Sew and Sew program was inspired by the three-month Project Success 1 art program, which the Fort Worth Police Department sponsored along with Samaritan House in March to help at-risk and homeless youth, Fort Worth LGBT Liaison Officer Kellie Whitehead said.

Sew and Sew will allow LGBT youth to work on their creativity and learn how to sew. Events throughout the year, such as a Halloween costume festival, will allow them to showcase their talent, Whitehead said.

“It’s a pilot education and training program for LGBT youth and allies to teach business skills and self-esteem,” she said. “It’s really just a safe place for them to meet mentors and really do what they like.”

The program may eventually focus on fashion design or whatever the youth want to focus on, Whitehead said, as she wants the program to become what LGBT youth need.

Whitehead said the program will begin with a meeting at Samaritan House in September, and the group will meet every Monday from 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Sewing supplies needed range from sewing machines, fabric, thread, buttons, zippers and scissors. Donations can be dropped off at Samaritan House at 929 Hemphill St. in Fort Worth. For more information, contact Whitehead at 817-688-3211 or kellie.whitehead@fortworthgov.org.

—  Anna Waugh

Homeless man arrested for allegedly fire-bombing Fort Worth office of LGBT ally Wendy Davis

Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis

Fort Worth police arrested a homeless man Tuesday night who they believe is responsible for setting off makeshift bombs at the office of state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth.

A bag of six bottles filled with lighter fluid were ignited outside Davis’ office around 4 p.m. Tuesday, starting a small fire. No one was injured, and Davis, a strong supporter of the LGBT community, was not in her office at the time.

Cedric Steele, 40, was arrested in a convenience store parking lot Tuesday night. He allegedly visited Davis’ office on West Seventh Street near downtown Fort Worth on Friday and again on Monday to speak to her about a tazing incident in Michigan.

During the arrest, he spoke of aliens, Police Chief Jeffrey Halstead said at a press conference outside the office Tuesday night. Police found igniter fluid and bottles in the abandoned house where police believe Steele was staying.

Steele has was convicted three times for criminal trespassing and once for assault family violence between 2006 ad 2010, according to Dallas County records. He was convicted of the misdemeanor of failure to identify in 2007 in Tarrant County.

Steel is being held on a $50,000 bond. He faces the second-degree felony charge of arson, punishable by up to 20 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, according to the Texas Penal Code.

Last year, Davis authored a fully LGBT-inclusive anti-bullying bill. Before running for Senate, she served on the Fort Worth City Council and appointed the openly gay Joel Burns to the Plan Commission. When Davis stepped down to run for Senate, Burns was elected to her old seat.

Calls made to Davis’ office were not immediately returned.

—  Anna Waugh

Officer assaulted in fight near Rainbow Lounge

Five people were arrested early Sunday — one for assault on a police officer — after a fight broke out on South Jennings Street, near the Rainbow Lounge. The officer was not injured, according to this report by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Liaison officer Kellie Whitehead

Tom Anable, president of Fairness Fort Worth, noted that the Star-Telegram story incorrectly implies the incident occurred inside the bar, which became famous after a June 29, 2009 raid by police and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

“This was a fight between two groups of people that happened outside the bar, after the bar was closed,” Anable said.

Fort Worth LGBT Liaison Officer Kellie Whitehead said today she’s still trying to confirm all the details, but reported that officers were called to the scene at 2:27 a.m. in response to a fight between two groups of people. She said the first officers to arrive on the scene approached a man who appeared to be about to fight with someone else. She said the man “turned on the officer and took an aggressive stance,” and so the officer put the man in handcuffs.

Rainbow Lounge owner J.R. Schrock, who made the call to 911, told Anable that he could not hear nor clearly see what transpired between the officer and the man, but that the officer “took him down and handcuffed him.”

At that point, Whitehead said, others in the crowd “started getting aggravated,” and someone threw a high-heeled shoe at the officer. Other officers arrived, and one of them approached a man “who appeared to be intoxicated,” and that person punched the officer.

—  admin

FWPD names new LGBT liaison

Fort Worth Police Chief Jeff Halstead this week announced that Officer Kellie Whitehead, at left, has been named the department’s new LGBT community liaison officer. She replaces former liaison Officer Sara Straten, who was assigned to the position in the wake of the Rainbow Lounge raid in 2009 and who left the position to return to patrol.

Whitehead has been with the FWPD since 1999and has spent the last six years as a neighborhood police officer in the department’s South Division.

In a written statement released late Wednesday, Sept. 28, Halstead said: “This position has been very successful for our department and for our city. At the time we introduced this position, there were challenges in many parts of our community and relationships were broken. When Sara Straten volunteered to be transferred to the Chief’s office and assume this role, she had no idea how important her job would be for the future of our department. Kellie will continue in the service-based legacy that Sara started. The strength of our profession is that we are made up of thousands of different personalities. We are so proud of what Sara accomplished in her position and we are excited what a new set of eyes will bring as well.”

Watch Dallas Voice next Friday, Oct. 7, for a complete profile on Officer Whitehead.

—  admin