DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Police are supposed to keep us safe – but what if they don’t feel safe themselves? That’s the question the Dallas Police Association says city leaders should be asking.
“Their public safety, the ones who provide their safety for their citizens, don’t seem to be a priority,” says Sgt. Michael Mata, President of the Dallas Police Association.
His comment comes after yet another attempted attack on Dallas police Wednesday by an armed man who arrived at a substation saying he intended to shoot.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings sent CBS11 the following statement about the substation incident:
Dallas citizens were once again reminded yesterday why our police officers are the best in the country. We’re all grateful that alert Southwest Patrol officers stopped a potential attacker. This is another reminder of the need for us to enhance the physical security at Jack Evans Police Headquarters and all our patrol substations. Initial construction plans and tests are underway for enhanced security. Construction cannot begin soon enough.
In February, a drive-by shooting at that same substation nearly hit an officer. Last July’s ambush in downtown claimed five officers’ lives.
DPA President Sgt. Michael Mata says the city has broken its promises. “They need to do what they promised to do two years ago,” he says.
Dallas city council member Philip Kingston says he agrees. “Yeah, I think council has been irresponsible with regard to taking care of our officers.”
Mata says the city promised security fences and access gates at its seven substations. Councilman Kingston says funding was in the bond package that was postponed from May.
“I think the police are right to look at council and say, ‘you’ve got a plan, a recognized source of funding that you have to ask the voters to go access, and why haven’t you done it?,’ ” says councilman Kingston.
In its absence, DPD officers are stationed outside the buildings around the clock. But Mata says that’s not enough.
“It’s not a fix. It’s a small Band-Aid but that Band-Aid has been used for two years. It’s time to fix it,” Sgt. Mata says.
He says it would cost less than $10 million to provide those safety measures at all seven substations. Sgt. Mata hopes the city will decide to make that a priority.