It's no secret the Dallas Police Department doesn't have the staffing it did several years ago. However, a new pilot program could help officers work with what they have and deploy resources where they're most needed. The initiative is being tested in the southern part of the city.
That pilot program launched Wednesday at DPD’s South Central Division.
Maj. Paul Junger said it was the result of five years worth of data. Consulting firm KPMG took that data and made several recommendations to improve the department’s staffing and deployment strategies.
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“They said if you redeploy your officers around the demand, you can more efficiently serve the citizens just by the way you schedule your officers,” Junger said. “How we deploy our people will help us get to calls quicker, will help us be in areas when we’re needed and not in areas when we’re not needed.”
Junger said historically, there was very little overlay between officers’ shifts. And during shift changes, calls became stacked. With this new system, he said there’s less of a gap between shifts, and more officers on the streets where they are most needed.
Lifelong resident Phillip Gipson is a stakeholder with deep roots in his community.
“My parents purchased several homes in this neighborhood some years ago and I attended school in the area.” he said. “We want to keep all of our residents safe and keep our kids safe.”
Gipson said he welcomed the idea of a pilot program designed to improve efficiency at the Dallas Police Department.
Junger said the true measure of success would be how the department can answer the following questions.
“How many calls are holding? Are the citizens having to wait for calls?” he said.
Ultimately, it’s about whether the community sees a difference.
“If this works the way I think it will work, it will give our officers more time to actually form a relationship with people instead of going call to call,” he said.
Junger said this program is designed to work with the resources they already have. Other divisions will not be short-staffed in order to supplement the South Central Division.