Wham, Bam: What’s Going On With the Dallas Police Department

There’s tremendous power in being a police officer anywhere in this country, and that’s especially important for everyone to know here in North Texas and Dallas County.  Protect and serve?  Sure.

Thing is, law enforcement in Texas have the power to stop you and take your freedom.  A single officer can arrest you on charges that may damage your reputation and change your future forever.  Those charges may dropped or dismissed once that officer’s action gets reviewed by other law enforcement officials, or prosecutors, or judges responding to defense motions.  But not before you’re hurt.

And of course, they also carry weapons.  That officer can shoot you or tase you or beat you while you’re in handcuffs.  Scary stuff.

There’s been a history of problems here at the Dallas Police Department.  Consider the following:

Heavy Losses

The Dallas Police Department has had its share of heartbreak, as well.  Our city saw five Dallas police officers killed by a single sniper back in 2016 and the city is still grieving that tragedy.

By Spring 2017, there were fewer officers serving on the Dallas Police Department than we had seen in a decade.  Officers were retiring and quitting and no one was stepping up to fill those slots.  See, “Number of Dallas Police Officers at Lowest Level in a Decade,” published by the US News and World Report on April 25, 2017.  Reports are that 50 officers resigned in a single month this past summer.

And now, things are changing.  Fast and furiously.

New Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall Hails from Detroit

Dallas got a new police chief this year, and unlike years past this new Top Cop was not an internal promotion but an outside hire.  The interim police chief, David Pughes, handed over the reins in September 2017.  Pughes took over after Chief David Brown retired in October 2016.  He stated from the get-go that he wasn’t interested in taking on the job permanently.

So, we have an outsider at the helm.  Chief Renee Hall came to Dallas from Detroit, where she worked as a deputy chief.  (Read her resume here.)

Major Changes by the New Dallas Police Chief in the Past Two Weeks

Chief Hall started work in September, and it wasn’t long before things started heating up over there.  The new chief has been busy.

Within 90 days, there was a real big shake-up.

Last week, there was another one.

1. Wham: The DPD Vice Unit Disbanded

The new Police Chief has gutted the entire Vice Unit.  The 20 officers who worked vice have been assigned to other job duties.  The Dallas Observer points out that this was done before there was a full investigation.

That’s true.  Chief Hall hired an outside consulting firm named No Limit Investigative and Security Service to check out the police department vice unit, and expects their report in a few months.

But she didn’t wait for their results.  She gutted the Vice Unit now, and told the media that she acted based upon issues she had with their undercover gambling investigations and how the money going in and out of those investigations was being tracked.

Maybe the Vice Unit gets reinstated, maybe it doesn’t.

2. Bam: DPD Officers Demoted

Right after Thanksgiving, last week in fact, there was more news.  Chief Hall did a real fruit basket turnover.  She changed the structure of the administration itself.  There were 9 assistant chiefs; now there are 3 of them.  There were 13 deputy chiefs; now there are 7 deputy chiefs.

David Pughes will act has executive assistant chief and Chief Hall’s right hand man.

The patrol map got changed, too.  Chief Hall merged the old 7 patrol divisions into 4 patrols: central, south, east, and west.  Each patrol division is overseen by a deputy chief and two assistant chiefs (or more).  All this was announced last week and goes into effect on December 13, 2017.

Of course, this means lots of senior officers have been demoted, and they aren’t too happy about it.

3. Wham:  Internal Investigation into High Ranking Dallas Police Officer Allegedly Selling Exam Info

Reporters at WFAA have a scoop after confirming through records that Dallas Police Department Major Latoya Porter is being investigated by Internal Affairs to see if she used confidential info to help fellow officers cheat on tests that they have to take in order to get promoted (“supervisory exams”).

Seems she was one of three big wigs who got to check over the exam for accuracy, etc., before it was given and then she allegedly took that info and sold it for “hundreds of dollars”.

Read the full story written by Rebecca Lopez of WFAA.com in the article published on November 20, 2017 entitled ”Dallas police supervisor under investigation for selling confidential information.”

4. Bam: Retired Cops Being Re-Hired to Get More Officers in the Field

Chief Hall has also started a new program where retired police officers will be re-hired by the department to fill spots that will allow more officers out into the field.

These retired re-hires would do things like working on the radio, assisting in various police endeavors using their expertise in police protocols and releasing current officers from that radio job so they can work in the streets.  They will be paid a salary but it won’t impact their retirement pay.  And it’s said to be a temporary fill-the-gap step, to help deal with the DPD’s lack of officers right now.

What does this mean for Dallas?  From a criminal defense perspective, the more things progress at the Dallas Police Department, the more arrests are going to be made here in Dallas County. This new Police Chief is working hard and 2018 is going to see more changes from Chief Hall.  She’s far from finished here.  

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For more information, check out our web resources, read Michael Lowe’s Case Results, and read his in-depth article,” Pre-Arrest Criminal Investigations.”

 

 

 

 


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