Concerns Over Reducing Some Dallas Police Call Priorities

Efficiency recommendations from police consultants

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Dallas Police plan to reduce the response priority of some property crimes at the end of August at the recommendation of consultants and some Dallas City Council Members are concerned.

The city of Dallas paid $500,000 two years ago for the study to get the most out of the manpower it has.

“We obviously want to make sure we are putting all of our serious bodily injury, loss of life, as a priority, and those crimes that are of a property related call of a lower priority,” said Dallas Police Major Israel Herrera.

Currently Dallas police priority one calls average around eight minutes response time and priority two calls average about 27 minutes.

Four calls classified as priority one without lights and sirens are being reduced to priority two. They are bait car activation, felony theft in progress, felony theft in progress-vehicle, and felony criminal mischief.

With slower response, City Council Member Cara Mendelson asked whether police should still bother with bait cars.

“The person is not going to be there. I mean, they’re going to be long gone. So the question, I don’t know why we have this program,” Mendelsohn said.

Bait cars are posted in areas where vehicle theft is a problem. They’re equipped with hidden cameras to record video of the person who steals it and they alert police when the vehicle moves.

Councilman Adam Bazaldua said police have been successful recently catching thieves in the act near stores in his district.

“And if that was moved to a priority two, I think that may be the difference of stopping them,” he said.

Police said if a threat of injury is involved in a report, the call can be elevated to priority one.

“We will evaluate these and if we find it is something that slows our response time and we’re not getting to apprehend these suspects, we will come back and make the necessary adjustments,” Police Chief U. Renee Hall said.

Five other category one calls that were not receiving a response with lights and siren will be elevated to lights and sirens response under the plan that takes effect August 31.

Hall said more recommendations about response changes are due from the consultants in October.

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