DALLAS (CBS11) – Dallas City Council members pressed city staff Monday to make additional security improvements to Dallas Police Headquarters and its seven substations.
The council members expressed their concerns that there are still no fences around the buildings nearly three years after DPD Headquarters came under attack.
During a briefing before the council’s Public Safety Committee, Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway questioned Errick Thompson, the Director of Equipment and Building Services. “This is a good presentation”, Caraway said. “But we’re still falling short of fencing in the police stations. Anybody can just drive-in and walk-in.”
Thompson said now that voters approved the $1 billion 2017 bond package, the city will spend $6.7 million on security upgrades, which will include fencing.
But Thompson warned council members not to be disappointed with the initial phase of work to secure DPD parking lots. “It may not be the complete fencing, but some initial fencing underway by the end of the month. However, that won’t be complete fencing.”
He told council members much will depend on how much the city’s existing contracts with providers will enable the city to accomplish.
Councilman Philip Kingston told Thompson, “You got to understand why people continue to ask questions because it’s three years since we identified the need for fencing the and the fencing is not installed yet.”
The Chairman of the Committee, Adam McGough told Thompson, “This should be the top priority and we want to make these safety improvements as quickly as we possibly can.”
Mike Mata, President of the Dallas Police Association, expressed outrage that the process has taken this long. ” “It’s not that difficult. It’s a fence for God sakes. And these two years, seven months, we have wasted $12.99 million of taxpayer money.”
Mata says that’s the number of hours officers have spent guarding the headquarters and substations — two at each location — around the clock.
During the presentation, Thompson said the city has focused its efforts and $3.4 million securing the inside of the headquarters building and substations.
Improvements to DPD headquarters include adding bullet-proof wall panels and glass, a new revolving door, reconfiguring visitor screening, and adding cameras.
Work inside four of the seven substations has been completed, and work inside the other three should be wrapped up in March.