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Police Chief Confirms Fired Officers Ignored Family Violence Cases

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Six police officers have been fired from the Dallas Police Department. Among the six are two officers who department officials said ignored pleas from abused residents.

“When we find one of our detectives or one of our officers don’t do their jobs fully – they are going to lose their jobs,” Dallas Police Department Chief David Brown said plainly.

And that is exactly what happened Tuesday to two Dallas police officers. Why were they terminated? Chief Brown said for years the two had pushed aside hundreds of family violence investigations.

The Chief says his department found the case reports scattered in boxes and left in drawers. On some reports — the chief says the officers even entered false information.

Between 2009 and 2011 now fired Senior Corporal Durman Johnson failed to investigate 101 cases. During that same period, now fired Detective Shawn Wash failed to investigate 646 cases. And more bad news for victims, many of the ignored cases are now past the statue of limitations.

Paige Flink is with The Family Place, an organization committed to eliminating family violence. “When a victim calls they want someone to take action,” she said.

The Family Place Shelter provides a safe place to stay for more than a thousand women and children, who are victims of abuse. As details of the DPD offenses come to light Flink is worried her clients might now hesitate even more to call police. “I am concerned that a victim is going to say ‘why should I call the police if they are not going to do anything?’”

According to Chief Brown, in the past six months every case still within the statute of limitations was assigned to another officer and investigated. But for hundreds of cases it was too late.

Now Brown hopes it’s not too late to regain any trust the department has lost. “Our officers make mistakes but I think the more important message is our officers are being held accountable for their mistakes by the loss of their jobs.”

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