DPD Reassigns Neighborhood Police Officers to 911 Training

The Dallas Police Department is lending officers to help out in the city's troubled 911 call center.

"We're just transferring some people in and out of the 911 call center, getting more people trained," said Interim Police Chief David Pughes. "Making sure that we have enough people to ensure that we get to the 911 calls answered in an expeditious fashion."

Each of the department's seven divisions will reassign one of its 14 neighborhood police officers for 911 training, making them available to help out when needed.

"My goal is to have the least impact possible," said Pughes. "We have to get to a position where we have a number of people trained to answer 911 calls."

"Rotate people in and out as quick as possible and get the necessary training done and have the least amount of impact on the neighborhood," he added.

Pughes outlined the plan before the Dallas City Council's Public Safety Committee, which is still waiting for a full briefing on the 911 call center issue.

Committee members weren't happy to hear neighborhoods would be losing an NPO, or neighborhood police officer.

"To have them taken [off the street] to work 911, to me, I see this as putting a Band-Aid on that issue and taking away from the community," said Committee Chairman Adam Medrano.

Each division has 14 neighborhood police officers, who work to build strong relationships with their community, attend neighborhood meetings and also focus on crime prevention.

"They play a huge in our community, so I hate to see that that's the place we're looking to pull from," said the Committee Vice Chair, B. Adam McGough.

"They're kind of the liaison between the patrol division and the community," said Pughes, who said wait times and the number of 911 calls placed on hold are both going down.

"But I'm not content, and I'm not happy with where we are at right now," Pughes added. "We still need to make some improvements, so that's a long-term goal."

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