Dallas Officer Firings Raise Questions About Training

Nine officers fired since Chief David Brown took over in May

By Grant Stinchfield
|  Monday, Sep 20, 2010  |  Updated 6:45 PM CDT
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<a title=Dallas Police Chief David Brown has fired nine officers in five months, he says the high rate of terminations is about building public trust in law enforcement." />

Grant Stinchfield, NBCDFW.com

Dallas Police Chief David Brown has fired nine officers in five months, he says the high rate of terminations is about building public trust in law enforcement.

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Some law enforcement experts are questioning the Dallas Police Department's recruiting and training process after a high number of firings.

Chief David Brown has terminated nine officers since he took over in May. The number is expected to climb in connection with the investigation into the beating of a chase suspect earlier this month.

An officer who had not yet completed his probationary period with the department was fired last week over the incident.

Many of the nine officers who have been fired had less than three years on the job.

Former federal agent A.J. Irwin said he worries that the department's recent strong push to hire hundreds of officers may be to blame for the recent blemishes.

"It happened throughout my 30 years of law enforcement," he said. "I have seen federal agencies and local law enforcement agencies, when they make a big push to hire, they have to expedite the background checks, so yes, people do slip through the cracks."

Attorney Clint David said this month's videotaped beating is proof that the Dallas Police Department needs to review its process of training of recruits.

All six of the officers involved in the incident had less then three years on the job.

"The takeaway of this has to be that Dallas police must do a better job, one, in sifting through applicants to become an officer, and No. 2, if they make the cut and become an officer, the training just has to be better," David said.

Brown declined to be interviewed for this story.

A spokesperson for the department said the chief reviews each officer's situation on a case-by-case basis. Brown has made it clear in the past that the public's trust is paramount to good policing.

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