DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas police officers were honored Monday evening at two different dinners after some were told they couldn’t receive their awards due to pending internal affairs investigations.
The department’s awards banquet at the Hyatt in downtown Dallas honored 150 officers and employees to recognize their acts of heroism that often go unseen.
At Bob’s Steakhouse in Oak Lawn, a smaller dinner was held for the four who were told to stay away from the main event.
“I contacted the officers and their families and said we’re taking them to dinner,” Mike Mata, president of the Dallas Police Association, said.
Mata said he learned 22 officers with pending internal affairs investigations were told last week that they would not be able to attend the event and accept their award. He said those investigations were mostly over administrative issues.
“Abuse of sick time, didn’t turn on their body camera, using an inappropriate comment, something like that,” Mata said.
Eighteen of those 22 officers were told Friday they would be honored after all and were able to attend the formal dinner.
However, the other four, including Mata, were still unable to attend.
Mata said he didn’t care about his award but wanted to honor the other three. “We should honor them,” he said.
Mata said he learned this had happened the last two years but officers with pending investigations weren’t notified that they had been chosen for an award.
Police Chief Renee Hall declined to comment Monday evening and said she wanted to keep the focus on the work of the officers.