Earlier this month, Steve Thompson and Tanya Eiserer took a long, hard look at how the Dallas Police Department reports car burglaries and thefts -- or, rather, how the DPD doesn't report some car burglaries and thefts. The reason: the so-called Auto Theft Affidavit, which was introduced in June 2007 and allowed civilians (called "expeditors") to take burglary calls and decide whether or not they warranted a follow-up investigation from an officer. When The News showed Chief David Kunkle the stats, he said said, in short, Yup, there are problems. And we'll fix 'em. But how?
Well, tomorrow the city council's Public Safety Committee gets a sneak preview of the chief's plan, which, according to briefing docs that also outline the root of the problem, will take effect October 15. It is, as follows:
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- All preliminary reports created by expeditors are being reviewed and complainants contacted by mail to determine if they should be changed to criminal offense reports
- Expediters will no longer make BMV reports by phone
- Officers will be dispatched to Burglary of Motor Vehicles calls
- Officers will provide a BMV/Theft Form to complainant to
- This form will be similar to the one already in use for vehicle thefts