City of Dallas
1500 Marilla Street, Rm 4EN
Dallas, Texas 75201
Over the last two years, the Dallas Police Association has tried to work with DPD management to better the product we provide to the citizens of Dallas. We have stood by management on many occasions, including the Southwest drug debacle and the botched handling of the South Dallas rapist. We have been silent as members have been fired before they have had a final criminal disposition. No longer does the DPA only focus on better pay and benefits but also the productivity of our officers. We understand that you cannot have one without the other.
While the DPA has attempted to make our Department more effective and efficient by working with DPD management, management has continually created policies that render us ineffective and less efficient. The Department has created policies that limit apprehension of suspects in vehicles and on foot, as well as, policies that make it harder to get a consensual search of a suspect. Any and all policies that are put into effect should be in attempt to make DPD more effective and efficient and to improve safety for the citizens of Dallas. Instead, we hear the term 'BEST PRACTICES', which ultimately means we don't do the job the citizens of Dallas expect us to do. Throughout this process, the DPA has still maintained a positive approach and tried to use our influence to affect positive changes to these policies from within.
Monday's termination of Senior Corporal Amy Wilburn had a chilling effect on the safety of the citizens of Dallas and of all Dallas Police Officers. This termination was not that of just an officer but that of the foundation of police training, which is/was our Deadly Force Policy. Up until Monday, Dallas Police Officers were allowed to use deadly force when they were in fear for their life or another's. As of Monday, Dallas Police Officers no longer know when they can use deadly force and, if they do, question whether they are going to be fired if they are forced to. This up in the air policy creates doubt and hesitation in an officer about when/if to use deadly force, which ultimately is going to result in an officer and/or a citizen getting killed. This doubt will always result in a hesitation in officers' response times to citizen's calls. No longer can an officer quickly drive to a man with a gun, robbery in progress or domestic abuse call because the officer no longer believes he/she can use deadly force, if it is required, without fear of being terminated.
Last night, we had another person trying to kill four Dallas Police Officers. The suspect fired at the officers five times, and the officers still didn't return fire to defend themselves. Several of the rounds were only inches from taking an officer's life, but the officers hesitated because they no longer know when deadly force is acceptable. That suspect eventually charged the officers' position, and the officers were left with no choice but to defend themselves because they were in fear for their lives. The officers were able to go home to their families but, in the end, are now left with the uncertainty of whether or not they will be terminated.
To add insult to injury on the whole Deadly Force Policy, the Department is now going to revamp our RBT training. This is the Reality Based Training that is credited with no Dallas Police Officer being killed in the line of duty for the past four years. Also, this is the same training that many in management positions seem to avoid for whatever reason. In the end, it seems that the present RBT has been too successful in protecting officers' lives, and we now have to go to a management perspective-style of Deadly Force RBT Training. Since management doesn't answer calls (and many haven't answered a call in more than 15 years), one can only assume what that means.
The end result is that the citizens of Dallas are going to be hurt. Dallas Police Officers need to catch the so-called bad guy so that the citizens remain safe. All the citizens of Dallas should be able to walk the street without fear of becoming a statistic. All policies that are implemented should be focused on what makes us more effective and efficient in satisfying this goal. Yes, we need to be accountable and transparent but not at the cost of us doing our job protecting and serving all the citizens of Dallas.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
Dallas Police Association
Full letter from Dallas Police Association to City of Dallas