The Dallas Police Department's multiyear investigation into its vice unit is over, the department announced Wednesday. Twenty-two officers have been disciplined, DPD Chief Renee Hall said, and face punishments ranging from a written reprimand to suspension. The department did not fire any officers, and no officers were charged with a crime.
“Ethics and integrity define who we are as a police department,” Hall said. “We must always operate with the highest level of integrity to ensure that we maintain trust and strong relationships with the residents we serve. 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.”
Hall disbanded the unit in November 2017, two months after taking DPD's top spot from David Brown, and brought in outside investigators to look into "inconsistencies relative to procedure, protocol and our policies."
Almost a year later, DPD brass gave the City Council a preview of what was coming from the investigation as it rolled out the department's revamped vice unit.
"Prior to November 2017, there were instances in the vice unit that rose to behavior that our public integrity unit needed to look at. It could've been criminal behavior, based on those allegations," Assistant Chief Paul Stokes said. "When our public integrity unit looked at that, they couldn't substantiate it based on intent, that the officers had intended to commit a criminal act."
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No officers from the vice unit's previous incarnation were included in the new unit.
Documents released Wednesday reveal that, on multiple occasions, vice unit officers replenished department funds intended to be used in sting operations with money won from undercover gambling stings. Officers frequently failed to log and store case and other evidence seized as part of vice unit policing, according to police records.
“We are disappointed in the actions of these officers, supervisors and the leadership team as a whole, but will use this experience to provide better oversight and efficiencies in the future,” Assistant Chief Avery Moore said. “For our department to properly serve the residents of Dallas, there must be trust, and our residents deserve to know that our officers are held to the highest of standards.”