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Dallas Police Department proposal to invest more in crime control technology

Considerable changes are possibly coming to the Dallas Police Department after a recent proposal suggested the agency could slow down the number of new-hire officers and use the excess funding for new crime control technology, NBC affiliate KXAS reported.

The police department has a budget to hire 200 new police officers in 2014, and the proposal would hire 35 less agents and invest in more police technology for the DPD, the source reported.

Dallas Police Chief David Brown explained to the Public Safety Committee on May 27, that with the proposal, the department could save $751,782 from the budget and put it toward technology, the source cited.

Brown expects the police department to be more efficient with new technology that it wouldn't need the additional officers. According to KXAS, Brown believes the department can be more effective with less officers patrolling.

DPD focusing on high-crime areas
Some of the technology the DPD is looking to invest in would be surveillance cameras in high-crime areas. According to the source, the department also wants to hire 20 Public Service Officers (PSOs), which are civilians that are not sworn in and would be unarmed.

The PSOs could help with more rudimentary tasks such as handling parking tickets and jail processing paperwork, which Brown explained can sometimes take up to half an officer's day, the source reported. The PSOs would allow sworn officers to remain in the streets longer and help reduce crime in the area.

The DPD showed that crime has lowered each year consecutively in the last decade, and instituting new police technology could help officers solve more crimes. Currently, the DPD has around 2.77 officers per 1,000 residents, the source added.

Brown's ultimate goal is to have more police technology in the high-crime areas while civilian officers can do more of the desk work at the station, Dallas News reported.

"We need to help with the budget, and we need officers on the front lines, and we need technology," Brown told Dallas News.

The department currently has more than 3,500 sworn officers and the long-term goal has been to reach 3 officers per 1,000 residents, the source reported. Mayor Mike Rawlings recently announced the city's new proposal to review the public safety budget since there is an expected $30 million shortfall in 2015.

However, the DPD explained the staff changing would help make better use of tax dollars and ultimately keep the crime rate on a downward trend.


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