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Dallas Police Won’t Take Non-Emergency Phone Calls Anymore

Dallas, TX – The Dallas Police Department’s (DPD) previously-optional online reporting system will soon become mandatory for the reporting of non-emergency incidents.

Under the DPD’s new policy, which goes into effect on July 3, members of the public will no longer be able to place calls to Dallas police dispatcher for non-emergency incidents such as burglary, fender-benders, shoplifting, child custody interference, or identity theft, KDFW reported.

Instead, they will be required use the department’s online reporting system at dallaspolice.net.

People without their own internet access will need to file their reports at a public library or by visiting the kiosk at DPD headquarters, KDFW reported.

The DPD established the online reporting system on a voluntary basis several years ago, but only about six percent of non-emergency incidents were being reported through the system, according to CBS News.

DPD Chief Eddie Garcia said the policy change will potentially save millions of dollars while also allowing officers to respond to emergency incidents more quickly.

An increase in urgent calls amid a staffing crisis has driven up response times to emergency calls – such as an active shooter or a robbery – to an average of 10 minutes, CBS News reported.

The DPD said it will be like having 65 more officers on the streets if they didn’t have to respond to low-priority calls.

“We’re seeking officers to be available for higher priority calls. And we’re seeking to reduce the demand on the workload of our patrol officers who are the backbone of this organization,” Chief Garcia told CBS News.

“We have to think about our men and women and the stress that they’re under and the constant calls,” he added, according to The Dallas Morning News. “We have to make the working conditions of our men and women better and, at the same time, not sacrifice the service for our community — and I think this achieves that.”

Chief Garcia noted the department is also short-staffed by about 500 officers.

The DPD said the investigations into any reports made online will be conducted in the exact same manner they would be if an officer had responded to the scene and taken the report in person, KDFW reported.

“If you do it online, you can access it immediately and complete the report in 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the type of report that you’re making,” DPD 911 Administrator Robert Uribe told the news outlet.

Uribe noted that anyone who calls 911 to report a non-emergency incident will be provided with instructions regarding how to go file their report online.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin


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