The Personnel Division became aware that 3 recruits had been terminated for failing police vehicle operations course and standardized field sobriety practical exams.
A fourth recruit was recommended for termination for failing the driving practical exam. By late February, a 5th recruit was terminated for failing the driving practical exam. The department began looking into why an unusually high number of recruits were failing the driving and field sobriety practical exams in such a short period of time.
Early March 2014
The Black Police Association (BPA) contacted Assistant Chief Paulhill to express concerns about the field sobriety practical exams and failure of a recruit. The BPA advised Chief Brown of concerns about black recruits being terminated due to practical skills testing in police driving and field sobriety testing courses.
The department conducted a review of recruit terminations due to field sobriety testing and police driving course practical skills tests. The review showed that only minority recruits were failed on the practical skills portions of the two courses with the exception of one white male who failed field sobriety practical skills test.
Late March 2014
It was learned that one of the recruits recommended for termination but not yet terminated, experienced a 5 week delay in the testing process, but was not allowed to drive and was not provided remedial training before receiving his final practical test. The department directed that the recruit receive remedial training and be retested. The recruit passed the final test after receiving remedial training.
Early April 2014
The Dallas Police Association (DPA) sent a letter to the Mayor, City Council, and City Manager’s Office alleging lowered standards at the Police Academy and recruits being tested until they pass on the driving test and at the firearms training center.
Mid April 2014
The department launched an administrative inquiry into these allegations, and interviewed all academy and firearms training center instructors. The administrative inquiry revealed that no one had been repeatedly tested until they passed nor had the standards been lowered or downgraged.
Late April 2014
A scheduled audit was conducted by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE), the State licensing agency for police departments. Auditors alleged that an academy instructor inappropriately lowered the test score of the recruit who had been recommended for termination.
The department is currently investigating the improperly lowered test score and the terminated recruit’s field sobriety practical skills test.
The Police Department temporarily suspended the Police Vehicle Operations Course (PVOC) training and testing effective May 6, 2014. The department is currently in the process of reviewing procedures regarding PVOC and will take TCOLE’s recommendations into consideration when implementing changes to the program. The department plans to lift the suspension of the driving program in time for all affected recruits to graduate from the academy.
Recruit Taylor was placed in a temporary position until the new program is in place at which time he will re-enter the police academy. The recruit must then complete the new driver training program and the rest of his police academy training before he is allowed to graduate.
Recruit Ja’Qualyn Mitchell, who still has to successfully complete driver training, must complete the new driver training program before he is allowed to graduate from the police academy in July.