Dallas Police Chief Proposes Fewer Officers, More Technology

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Dallas Police Department is proposing to cut back on the number of police officers hired this year.

    The Dallas Police Department is proposing to cut back on the number of police officers hired this year.

    Instead of hiring the 200 police officers budgeted for, the department is asking to hire 165 officers.

    In place of those 35 police officers, DPD would like to invest in more technology and Public Service Officers.

    Dallas Police Chief David Brown told the Public Safety Committee in a briefing Tuesday morning that this move will cut $751,782 from the budget.

    Brown said the department have become more efficient and can do more with less.

    Brown said he would like to purchase technology like more surveillance cameras in high crime areas and license plate scanners.

    The proposed plan also includes hiring 20 Public Service Officers. These are civilians who are not sworn in, are not armed and don't have a badge.

    Brown said PSOs can write parking tickets, wait for paperwork to process and bring people to jail -– which he said can sometimes consume half of a police officers' shift.

    Some members of the Public Safety Committee questioned the safety of replacing trained officers with civilians.

    According to the DPD, the crime rate in Dallas has decreased over the last 10 years.

    But Dallas Police Association President Ron Pinkston said you can't replace people with machines. He is also worried that if DPD takes more officers off the streets, the crime rate will increase.

    Pinkston said it also takes the DPD farther from their goal of having three police officers for every 1,000 residents.

    Right now, DPD reports 2.77 police officers for 1,000 residents.

    Chief Brown's briefing today was to inform the Public Safety Committee about the possible changes and answer questions.

    Brown will next make a proposal to the Dallas City Manager.