DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall finds herself at odds with her officers over sweeping changes she’s making to what happens after officer-involved shootings.
Those changes involve how much time an officer has to make a statement and the strengthening the power of a citizen police review board.
For the last five years, the Dallas Police Department has had a controversial policy of giving officers 72 hours to mentally and emotionally recover from a shooting or critical incident to face questions about what happened.
That is going away under a new police chief and in the wake of the deadly Botham Jean shooting at the hands of recently fired officer Amber Guyger.
The policy was implemented not long after an officer was caught on security camera video shooting and wounding a mentally disturbed man in 2013.
Officer Cardon Spencer told investigators Bobby Bennett lunged at him while the video showed he didn’t.
DPD decided that questioning officers too soon after such an intense experience could lead to inaccurate accounts and adopted the 72-hour rule.
Civil rights groups called it a convenient way to protect officers.
Chief Hall told the Dallas City Council on Monday she has revoked it.
CBS11 spoke to a veteran officer who fearing discipline wanted their identity concealed.
The young, veteran officer believes the new policy puts too much pressure on them.
“I think that’s a mistake they have had previous research done where the 48 to 72 hours after an officer involved shooting is very important for the officers recall. It’s very stressful you’re dealing with emotions you’re dealing with your overall health and well-being the trauma and stress that occurred during the incident after the incident,” the officer said.
The officer wants the chief to consider giving them at least 48 hours to calm their emotions before giving a statement that could cost them their jobs or send them to jail.