DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The head of the Dallas Police Association tells CBS 11 News that longer 911 response times can be blamed in part by officers being mentally beaten down.
“The bottom line is response times are up, violent crime is up, and officers are fed up,” said Ron Pinkston, president of the Dallas Police Association.
Many of the 3,000 officers he represents are moving slower because of concerns over safety and fears about violating department policies, Pinkston said.
“The motivation is a little lacking,” he said. “I think it’s just the fear of doing the right thing and that they are going to get disciplined for doing that.”
Pinkston said officers are too often being reprimanded for the way they drive during high speed chases or for the difficult decisions they have to make when using deadly force.
“The only way we are going to get this response times to turn around is get a different management style or get a different manager,” Pinkston said.
Dallas Police Chief Brown told city council members Monday that new training requirements are responsible for the slower response to priority one calls – now at eight minutes and 13 seconds – the highest in at least three years.
Priority two calls take more than 22 minutes despite a city goal of 12 minutes.
Pinkston said Monday’s promotion of more high-ranking officers takes more patrol men and women off the street and leaves those out there feeling vulnerable.
“When they see criminal suspects that look suspicious, they are not going to engage those suspects from fear that nobody’s going to support them,” Pinkston said.
(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)