The Dallas Police Department didn’t do so hot in their response to the George Floyd protests this summer. Chief U. Reneé Hall said she would give her department's handling of the protests and riots a C-minus. But in a memo from Assistant City Manager Jon Fortune, the department said it is prepared for any action officers might see on Election Day and the weeks that follow.
In the memo, the department said it developed operation plans to deal with election site security, maintain easier access to polling locations and provide a safe environment for people to exercise their First Amendment rights.
“As we move forward, the Dallas Police Department will continue to monitor information regarding planned events, potential threats, and community concerns to ensure that our department is prepared to keep Dallas safe,” the department said in the memo.
The department also is taking steps to maintain patrol operations, such as answering calls for service and crime prevention.
They’ll be setting up a unified command structure and activating the emergency operation center. Hall and City Council members identified problems with the chain of command as one of the failures of DPD's response to this summer's Black Lives Matters protests.
The after-action report on the police response to the protests seemed to indicate a general disregard for leadership, council member Chad West said at the time, describing what took place in DPD’s command structure as a mutiny.
Discretionary leave has been restricted for officers leading up to and after the election.
Teams identified for deployment during election week are refining their training, the department said. Command officers are also doing more prep work, conducting exercises to strengthen their operations and meeting with election officials for an overview of Election Day polling process and laws.
Because it is the biggest polling location in the county, a special operational plan was developed for the American Airlines Center, which includes downtown.