By ROBYN H. JIMENEZ
The Dallas Examiner
A Dallas City Council special meeting was called by Mayor Eric Johnson June 5. The meeting was an opportunity for community members to express concerns regarding their experience with law enforcement during the protest around the city. It also allowed the mayor and City Council members to address the situation with the Dallas chief of police and the city manager.
During the meeting, City Manager T.C. Broadnax informed the City Council that he and Hall had met to discuss what changes needed to be made.
“The chief, in consultation with me, worked very hard to figure out what we needed to do and what we could do in the moment, administratively, to demonstrate that George Floyd’s death and the resulting protests will lead to change,” Broadnax explained. “So we have talked through and agreed to immediate action, which are zero to 90 days that those actions will be taken. And one, the first, has already ben implemented …”
He listed the following as immediate actions to take place in the next 90 days:
- A Duty to Intervene Policy was implemented on June 4.
- Warning before Shooting Policy to be implemented by June 12.
- Changed Roll Call Training Bulletin banning chokeholds, which has been in place since 2004, to a general order issued on June 3.
- Review all use-of-force policies – consistent with the Obama Police Use of Force Project – for needed changes or revisions and publish them on http://www.dallaspolice.net by Aug. 28.
- Begin monthly reporting of officer contact data on all traffic stops and citations by June 30.
- Create and implement a body and dashcam policy to release critical incident videos by June 30.
“That means we will try to do that through policy to get those videos out in the public much sooner than historically in this city, ” Broadnax assured the council.
He listed the following as short-term actions to take place in 90 to 120 days:
- Expand Right Care Program to include additional teams including behavior health call diversion, chronic consumer services and dedicated training by Oct. 1.
- Implement a robust Early Warning System that will assist the department and supervisors in identifying Officers with three or more incidents that may be cause for concern so we can adequately respond by providing additional training and support for such Officers by Nov. 27.
“Long term, she will work with the Community Police Oversight Board and our community,” he stated.
He listed the following as long-term actions to take longer than 120 days:
- Implement a program, anchored in procedural justice, to build and enhance community relationships by January 2021.
- Conduct a comprehensive cultural assessment of the department by May 2021.
- Work with Community Police Oversight Board to review general orders, and receive recommend changes for consideration by May 2021.
“We’ll honestly look at that to see how we as an organization, not just how our officers are feeling, but how they may be feeling and dealing with and handling what’s going on inside the organization that prevents people – in some cases – from not doing the right types of things,” he said.
The plan is part of the city’s new One Dallas: R.E.A.L. Change initiative, designed to be a catalyst to provide a scalable action-based plan aligned with 21st century policing. The purpose of the initiative is to guide their focus toward “solutions and outcomes that are anchored in responsible, equitable, accountable, and legitimate efforts to restore and increase trust within our community.”
The foundation for R.E.A.L Change in policing:
- Responsible – Foster relationships that promote programs and initiatives that protect and serve all members of the community
- Equitable – Address racial and anti-bias tendencies to eliminate barriers and focus on inequities and improving safety for all
- Accountable– Transparent about policing processes and practices to increase community trust
- Legitimate – Ensure policies, procedures, systems, and decision making have legitimacy to build trust
R.E.A.L. Change, according to the plan, embraces the following six pillars of 21st century policing:
- Building trust and legitimacy
- Policy and oversight
- Technology and social media
- Community policing and crime reduction
- Training and education
- Officer wellness and safety
“So I would say, as it relates to the conversation that what we’ve learned, with some self reflection as it relates to our organization beyond the police department, we’ve all got a lot of things to do,” Broadnax concluded. “I’m working with the other members of my team to create the conversation as well as some specific actions around economic development, housing, workforce, training and the things that – again – are the fabric of what makes communities whole, so that this conversation that we continue to have every five years – every time we see a new video or incident that gets back at root causes – that we can address them as a city and we can be more resilient, be more responsive and respected by the people in our community.”