Stricter Rules Could Keep Officers Off Patrol

Rules prohibit those with certain medical conditions from driving commercial vehicles

Dallas police are now following federal guidelines on who can drive commercial vehicles, making it harder for officers with certain medical conditions to drive a patrol car.

The city was using municipal rules, but changed its policy two years ago.

"Two years ago, the city started using Department of Transportation rules, which are tighter," said Assistant Chief D.V. Garcia.

The rules say diabetics using insulin, or anyone with high blood pressure, can be kept from driving a commercial vehicle.

But the new rules don't sit well with the Dallas Police Association.

"We have a lot more dangerous things to worry about that pose risks to us than someone with high blood pressure or diabetes that’s being treated," said Glenn White, president of the assoc.

Garcia said the rules are strict, but the goal is to keep citizens and officers safe in the city.

"We want to make sure that the rules don't sideline officers that quite frankly, need to be on the street rather than behind a desk," Garcia said.

Police officials didn't want to guess how many officers would be affected by the new rules. So far, two have been excluded by the new policy.

A complete list of the federal rules can be seen here.

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