Police: 22 Dallas officers suspended for policy violations
DALLAS (AP) — More than 20 Dallas police officers have been suspended without pay after an internal investigation found they failed to account for money won in gambling stings, document their use of police funds and properly place seized property into evidence, among other policy violations, officials announced Wednesday.
None of the detectives and supervisors, who previously served on the city’s vice squad, will face criminal charges because prosecutors determined the nearly three-year investigation found “insufficient evidence” that the law was broken, the police department said.
The group acknowledged some policy violations but poor documentation prevented investigators from determining what happened to some of the funds and seized gambling machines, according to the department. Some officers were accused of giving internal affairs detectives false or misleading statements.
Twenty-two officers received between three and 20 days suspension without pay, according to a department memo released Wednesday. A police spokeswoman said one officer was previously given a written reprimand.
“Though not popular, these actions were necessary to create a more efficient department and bring us closer to our goals as a world class department,” Dallas Police Chief U. Reneé Hall said.
Hall disbanded the vice unit in 2017 with little explanation, then reinstated it with new officers in November 2018. She said Wednesday that “ethics and integrity define” the city’s police department.
Dallas Police Association President Mike Mata, who represents some city officers, called the disciplinary actions “ridiculous” and an “unfair” effort to retroactively justify dismantling the unit.
The vice unit seized nearly 4,000 gambling machines and more than $852,000 between 2014 and 2017, according to the department memo.
The memo, dated June 2019, also noted about 1,650 of the machines remain unaccounted for, but it’s unclear how much money is at stake in the alleged policy violations.