Fifteen Arlington Police Department officers have been placed on leave with pay after a department investigation revealed that they said they made traffic stops that never happened. According to a department spokesman, a random audit revealed officers were reporting stops for which no digital video record existed.
"All facts at this point in the investigation suggest that no citizens were contacted during these alleged traffic stops and no tickets were issued. This administrative investigation will focus on concerns that officers untruthfully reported traffic stops that were never conducted, including the inaccurate reporting of traffic stop dispositions," Lt. Christopher Cook, Arlington police spokesman, said in a Tuesday press release.
Officers making stops in Texas are required to record the demographic data of those they pull over. That information is then rolled into each local department's racial profiling report. The department is not commenting on why so many of its officers would want to falsify that data. The department says that, at this point, it doesn't believe the number of false reports filed by officers is enough to compromise its annual racial profiling data, but investigators are still looking at the full impact of the officers' phony stops.
“These allegations are serious and represent conduct that is not consistent with departmental expectations. I expect Arlington officers to perform their duties with the highest degree of personal integrity. We will investigate these allegations to determine the facts of this case,” Arlington Police Chief Will Johnson said in a written statement.
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The officers will remain on leave until an expanded investigation is completed to determine whether additional internal complaints are necessary. Arlington PD has also made the Tarrant County District's Attorney's Office aware of the investigation, Cook said.