Dallas Police Association: Here’s Our Plan to Boost Officer Morale

With more than 80 percent of the association's members saying that the Dallas Police Department's morale is at an all-time low, the association is offering a 10-step plan to help improve things. At the top of the list: ethics and transparency.

A couple of months back, Dallas Police Chief David Brown had some advice for the four groups that represent the city’s police force: Pare it down to just one association.

Returning the favor, the city’s largest police association had some advice of its own for the city’s police force: If you want better morale, boost the department’s ethical standards.

On Tuesday, the Dallas Police Association (DPA) released a 10-point plan discussing how the police department could help improve the low morale reported by more than 80 percent of the association’s 1,279 members. In comments about the plan, DPA President Ron Pinkston emphasized that the goal of the plan was to ensure that everyone is following the same standards, no matter where they rank in the food chain.

“You have to adhere to all the policies and guidelines of the Dallas Police Department, not just the guys at the bottom but the people at the top who are writing those policies,” Pinkston said, according to the Dallas Observer. “They have to follow those policies too.”

The list has a number of suggestions that vary in specificity. Among them: more transparency about what happens in the department; more consistent standards in cases where deadly force is used; additional clarity on when foot or police chases are allowed; and a focus on improving the processes used for internal issues, such as promotions, transfers, and disciplinary actions. Oh, and they want better flex-scheduling rules.

The association’s advice to the department comes at a time when the relationship is a bit strained. The push by Brown to cut down on the number of associations wasn’t met warmly by Pinkston, who suggested Brown wasn’t being sincere.

“He’s afraid if there was one voice for officers about how he’s handling the department that wouldn’t be positive for him,” Pinkston claimed at the time.

For his part, Brown welcomed the suggestions, but only to a point.

“It’s my desire to work with all of the union groups,” he said in a statement, “but it is my obligation to insure we maintain the public’s trust and confidence such that where union demands jeopardize that trust, we will not move forward.”


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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