Deputy Chief John Abernathy is a thirteen-year veteran of the Forney Police Department. He has a Master Peace Officer License, has been a Field Training Officer, a Sergeant, a Lieutenant, and most recently appointed to Deputy Chief in July 2020. Previously, he served as a police officer with the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and has a total of 23 years of experience in law enforcement. He has additional training in the recognition and enforcement of impaired drivers. He is a Standardized Field Sobriety Testing Instructor and teaches police officers how to recognize and test impaired drivers. He has additional training in recognizing drivers impaired by drugs by going through ARIDE (Advanced Roadside Impaired Driver Enforcement) and becoming a certified Drug Recognition Expert on 09/01/2014. He has previously served as a team member and Commander of the SWAT team.
Deputy Chief Abernathy is currently assigned to the Operations Bureau of the Forney Police Department, which is comprised of Patrol and CID (Criminal Investigations Division). These two divisions encompass all sworn personnel in the Department. Prior to becoming a police officer, he served as a detention officer with the Mesquite Police Department.
The officers of the Patrol Division are the primary tool of the department to respond to calls for service, investigate criminal actions and deter and dismantle criminal activity within the city. This is accomplished through dynamic patrol tactics, proactive policing, utilizing the Community-Oriented Policing philosophy, in combination with the use of advanced technology and equipment. Patrol officers are assigned to specialized units such as traffic investigation, SWAT, bicycle patrol, and Field Training Officers.
Field Training Officers (FTO)
A number of the patrol officers are also assigned to the FTO program and are responsible for training new officers to the Department's standards. All of these training officers must complete training through the State to qualify and become certified as a Training Officer.
Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT)
The Forney Police Department SWAT team's primary mission is to respond to incidents such as barricaded persons, hostage situations and other instances that require special skill, equipment and training. In addition, the SWAT team also executes search warrants and arrest warrants that are deemed "high risk" with a possibility of armed resistance.
In addition to their regular assigned duties, SWAT personnel train each month on a variety of tactics including dynamic assaults, buy-bust, downed citizen/officer rescue and hostage rescues. Training is also provided by the Texas Tactical Police Association, I.A.C.P., and other state and national organizations.
Officers assigned to this team must have a minimum of at least one year with the Department. They must demonstrate a high proficiency in firearms as well as physical condition. All officers selected must complete the 50 hour basic SWAT course mandated by the state and complete a one year probation once selected.
Criminal Investigation Division
The Criminal Investigation Division (CID) is comprised of Detectives assigned to units involving Burglary and Theft, Person Crimes, Special Crimes, and Crime Scene Investigation. CID is tasked with the responsibility of thoroughly investigating all criminal incidents requiring follow-up investigations reported to the agency and identifying criminal trends and patterns to reduce the criminal activities within the City. To these ends, Detectives are divided into the specific units detailed below to identify, arrest, and present offenders to the judicial system. Investigators work cooperatively with citizens, officers and investigators from other divisions, City personnel, and other local, state and federal agencies to accomplish this goal.
Within the department, there are specialized units, which assist in accomplishing the department's mission. These units are staffed with personnel from other divisions within the department. They include:
- Accident Investigations
- Crime Prevention / Public Education
- Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT)
- Drone (UAS) Unmanned Aircraft System
- Traffic Unit
Crisis Negotiations Team (CNT)