DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A new plan for the Dallas Police Department puts more officers on the streets. But now, some officers are saying the plan puts them at a greater risk, and could cause crime victims to wait longer for justice.
This idea was so controversial the previous Dallas Police Chief who tried it pulled the plug on it after getting criticism from officers.
Chief Brown is determined to try again and says it’s the best way to prevent crime.
Officers who have been assigned to desk job for years, in some cases more than 20, will soon be back on the street for two weeks under a plan by Chief David Brown to strengthen patrols which he says can deter crime.
“Leads won’t come to the office. The leads we have to develop are in neighborhoods, and so I think it’s a worthwhile effort,” says Brown.
Brown says the city is on track to see crime drop for the eighth consecutive year which would be a record. But some say returning detectives and desk officers to the field will only reverse the trend.
“You’re taking detectives and while they’re investigating cases they’re putting them all on hold for two weeks so they can go back on patrol, we have officers in patrol that know how to do their job,” says Sr. Cpl. Glenn White with the Dallas Police Association
Association leaders were scheduled to meet with Brown about his plan, but turned around and left headquarters when they learned that the chief had already briefed reporters about it.
“If he wants to get in the media and make this fight, I’ll make a fight with him, that’s the stupidest thing we could do,” White told reporters.
Critics say crime victims will wait longer for justice if detectives spend weeks away from working their cases.
Some officers also worry that years out of patrol will put some of them and citizens at risk answering calls, which Chief Brown refutes. “The first day of the rotation is all training,” he says.
Brown adds any officers critical of his plan represent only a small minority. He says only seven percent of property crimes are ever solved and this approach will make a big impact in preventing them.
“There’s a percentage, and I think it’s a small percentage, of officers in every department in the country, I call them cops against virtually everything.”
White disagrees. “This is horrible and for him to say that it’s just a small group of anonymous people – the man is out of touch.”
The community policing plan is already in effect, and the chief says he needs ‘every hand on deck’ in his department.