Citywide Audit Looks At Dallas Police Officer Fatigue

Kristin Weisell
November 09, 2018 - 11:09 am
Dallas Police

Credit: Alan Scaia, 1080 KRLD

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DALLAS (1080 KRLD) - A Dallas city-wide audit will be released today. It looks specifically at how many hours Dallas police officers are working, and if there's an acceptable way to limit them. 

For many officers, a shift often extends past eight hours, depending what 911 call they respond to.

"An officer could be in the fifth hour of their eight hour shift, and get a late arrest," says Mike Mata, president of the Dallas Police Association. "That arrest can be drawn out for another four, five, six hours."

Mata says officers also take on extra duties outside their normal shifts, whether that's acting as security for another organization or appearing at an event. That only leads to being longer on duty. 

"Also, unlike other police departments, we have charge of every suspect we arrest until they go before a judge," says Mata. "That means if that person has a medical issue that he can't be booked right away, DPD has to take him to the hospital. We have to sit and wait until we're relived by other officers. That can take hours."

This study was commissioned after former Dallas officer Amber Guyger claimed to be so fatigued that she mistook Botham Jean's apartment for her own and shot him, thinking he was an intruder. 

Mata says Dallas police officers are spread too thin, and nothing will really change until the department hires more officers and does more to maintain the ones they have.