Dallas PD memo issued saying police won’t respond to certain “minor” calls – quickly take it back after massive blowback

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DALLAS, TX- The Dallas Police Department appeared to have joined a number of police departments nationwide which have announced that officers would not be physically dispatched to a number of “lower level” calls for service, according to a memorandum obtained by Law Enforcement Today and citing media reports in the city.

Dallas PD memo issued saying police won't respond to certain "minor" calls - quickly take it back after massive blowback
Dallas PD Dispatch Memo re: Call Diversion

The memorandum, dated January 1, 2021 has the subject matter “Call Diversion” and was directed to the 911 call center. The memo noted the changes would take effect on Monday, January 4. The memo directed that police officers no longer be dispatched to the following calls:

  • Attempt UUMV (unauthorized use of motor vehicle)
  • BMV (burglary of motor vehicle)
  • BMV- AUTO ACCESSORY
  • CREDIT/DEBIT CARD ABUSE
  • CRIMINAL MISCHIEF
  • GRAFFITI
  • HARASSMENT- ELECTRONIC COMM DEVICE
  • IDENTITY THEFT
  • LOST PROPERTY
  • RECKLESS DAMAGE
  • RUNAWAY
  • WANT TO LOCATE
  • INTERFERENCE WITH CHILD CUSTODY

The memo outlined some exceptions to the policy, which includes:

  • Any time a call taker hears an ongoing disturbance or distress
  • No internet access availability
  • Visually or hearing impaired or intellectual disability
  • DORS is down and report cannot be made through expediter unit
  • Expediter unit is closed and report cannot be made through DOR (automated reporting system)

The new policy was recommended pursuant to a study which was designed to increase the department’s efficiency, a move that Dallas Police Association President Mike Mata called necessary, however unfortunate.

“We’ve got to look at what we are really trying to do, and we are trying to get down that violent crime,” Mata said.

“And to do that we are going to need more hands-on-deck, more officers answering those violent crime calls and doing more proactive policing.”

The memo, probably not accidentally was released quietly within the department, however news soon got out via social media, including Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who was not, shall we say, a happy camper. He issued a tweet Saturday slamming the move.

“We won’t allow this California style lawlessness in Texas.

We will prioritize supporting—not defunding—our police force.

The State of Texas will begin work this month to fix this

Everyone in our state deserves to be safe from crime.

We will restore law & order in Texas.”

 

Just hours after the memo was made public, it was rescinded.

“The Dallas Police Department has learned that an internal memorandum was forwarded to staff members at the 911 Call Center regarding KPMG’s recommendations to divert Priority 4 calls to the Dallas Online Reporting System (DORS) or an Expediter.

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“Although conversations have been held on this topic, the memorandum was sent prematurely. The department is still in the evaluation phase on this item and will have further dialogue on recommendations and next steps. Therefore, the actions set out in the memorandum have been rescinded at this time.”

Dallas has hired a new police chief, Eddie Garcia, who will join the department from San Jose, California shortly. He served in that department for five years in the capacity of chief.

Jennifer Gates, Dallas City Council member who chairs the Public Safety committee said she believed the diversion program was being implemented in order to enhance response times. She acknowledged that the proposals had been presented internally, however said they needed to be released to the public prior to being implemented.

Gates issued the following statement on Saturday, addressed to the Dallas mayor, city council, and city manager:

“I was notified this afternoon that a draft memo regarding the dispatch of DPD officers for certain 911 calls was released. I have been notified the memo has been rescinded. It is my understanding these diversion procedures were identified in the KPMG study as a way to enhance response times and has been discussed internally.

“It is premature for DPD to initiate these changes before briefing the Public Safety Committee and before the new Chief begins. I have spoken to Assistant City Manager Jon Fortune, and the call diversion procedures will not be briefed at the January 11th Public Safety Committee.”

However, the move to stop responding to low-level calls comes at the same time that Dallas County DA John Creuzot has said he will not prosecute criminals who are stealing “necessary items.”

This follows on the heels of other major US cities, most notably Portland, Oregon where officials have proposed forgiving crimes if they were committed out of “necessity”

In addition, according to Clarion, Creuzot has promised not to prosecute thefts under $750, following in the footsteps of LA County DA George Gascon. That proposal has met with heavy criticism from officers within the Dallas Police Department.

Mike Mata from the Dallas Police Association warns that in essence legalizing some forms of thefts could have unrelated consequences, such as store owners taking the law into their own hands to prevent theft in their stores, especially if they don’t think crimes will be prosecuted.

“Either that shop owner is going to have to take matters in his own hands, or he’s going to have to let $600 worth of merchandise walk out of his store,” Mata said. “And so that might force him to get engaged into an altercation that he shouldn’t.”

In addition, a Dallas Police Department sergeant who is also president of the Dallas Chapter of the National Black Police Association believes thefts may have been behind a decision by Walmart to close a southern Dallas location. He also believes that thefts in smaller “mom and pop” stores would also increase if criminals believe they can get away with it.

Sgt. Sheldon Smith said, “And so the little store owner, he has no chance of staying in business. And why would they? And who’s hurt in the end? The community’s hurt.”

Creuzot, yet another DA who was put into office with the assistance of George Soros money, is believed to be behind the increase in crime in the Big D.

Through December 13, violent crime had increased up to 2%, which included a 30% increase in aggravated assault not including family violence, and a 21% increase in murder.

Dallas City Council members last week questioned Creuzot about his revolving door policy of letting criminals back on the streets nearly immediately.

Councilors said police records showed that all of those arrested in several warrant round ups in the past few months had previously been released from jail.

“When one of our key violent crime strategies is what we’re arresting individuals and we say, ‘Hey come in for a couple of days and then you’re back out,’ there’s a break down in the system,” said City Councilman Adam McGough.

As an excuse, Creuzot said that threat level assessments are made on people being evaluated for release. He claimed that as a former judge, it is a difficult choice deciding who gets released.

“I can tell you there is no magic formula that’s going to ensure that every single person who is arrested doesn’t’ get out and commit some new offense,” he said.

If we know anything about Soros-funded DA’s, they’re all about the criminal and not about the victims. Look at cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, St. Louis, Chicago and Boston among numerous other ones and you’ll see exactly how “difficult” a decision that is.

Not very “difficult” at all.

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