Dallas police chief says it's time for changes

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by REBECCA LOPEZ

Bio | Email | Follow: @rlopezwfaa

WFAA

Posted on August 11, 2012 at 5:51 PM

Updated Saturday, Aug 11 at 6:24 PM

DALLAS — Dallas police Chief David Brown told News 8 Saturday it's time for the department to make changes.

He said he took a hard look at what's been going on when it comes to allegations of excessive force and police shootings, and he felt he had to do something.

Since taking over the department, Brown has had to criminally charge officers for beating a motorist, and he’s dealt with dozens of officer-involved shootings.

"I just think we need to take a hard look at ourselves and be introspective and deal with it," he said.

Across the nation, police departments have been forced by the Justice Department to make changes. Chief Brown said he wants to avoid that happening in Dallas.

"I think it's better for us to change on our own than to be told to change by outside agencies," he said.

On Friday, Brown announced eight policy changes which include:

  • asking the FBI to review all officer-involved shootings
  • creating a foot pursuit policy to keep situations from getting out of hand and escalating to deadly force
  • requiring all officers be trained in the use of Tasers
  • requiring written or recorded consent before searching someone's property

At a community meeting Saturday morning, South Dallas residents welcomed the changes, but also said the community needs to step in and help police do their job.

"All these other things are good, but charity starts at home... then it spreads," said Melba Marshall, who lives in the Dixon Circle neighborhood where a fleeing suspect was shot and killed by a police officer on July 24.

All agreed that it will take police and residents working hand-in-hand to make changes that will endure.

E-mail rlopez@wfaa.com

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