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ARLINGTON (CBS11) – The 15 Arlington police officers being investigated for reporting traffic stops that never happened, could face felony charges of tampering with governmental records, and jeopardize every investigation they were involved in.

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“It’s a huge deal,” said Dallas attorney Pete Schulte. “If they get charged under that statute, they’re not going to be cops anymore.”

Schulte represents a man that was arrested by one of the officers in question. He recently received a notice from the state naming the officer and the allegations. He believes many other defense attorneys throughout North Texas received similar notices.

“With 15 officers, you don’t know how many cases are still pending. And there could be hundreds of cases that these officers have touched.”

The Arlington Municipal Patrolman’s Association recently spoke out about the accusations. They posted internal police emails and documents meant to explain why an officer may be motivated to manipulate traffic stop numbers.

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The police union alleges that an informal quota exists that may determine if officers receive approval to work outside jobs.

Schulte doesn’t think the excuse will factor into the internal investigation, or the opinion of a jury.

“Police have their integrity… that they’re going to be trusted and believed when they take the stand,” said Schulte. “When you have stuff like this happen, it rips that from them, and that’s when you have issues in the criminal justice system.”

Click here to read The Arlington Municipal Patrolman’s Association’s comments on the investigation.

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