Dallas Police Department

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Dallas Police Department
Abbreviation DPD
Patch of the Dallas Police Department
Badge of the Dallas Police Department
Agency overview
Formed 1881
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* City of Dallas in the state of Texas, USA
Size 342.5 sq mi (887.s km²)
Population 1,279,910 (2008 est.)
Legal jurisdiction Dallas
Governing body Dallas City Hall
General nature
Operational structure
Officers 3,474 (2013) [1]
Agency executive David Brown, Chief of Police
Stations Source:[2]
Helicopters 2 (1 in service)
Official website
* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

The Dallas Police Department, established in 1881, is the principal law enforcement agency serving the city of Dallas, Texas.


The department is headed by a chief of police who is appointed by the city manager who, in turn, is hired by the Dallas City Council. The city manager is not an elected official.

Primary responsibility for calls for police service are seven operations divisions based on geographical subdivisions of the city. Each operations division is commanded by a deputy chief of police. The divisions are designated Central, Northeast, Southeast, South Central, Southwest, Northwest and North Central and operate from facilities which are referred to as substations. Each operations division's geographical area is further subdivided into sectors which are composed of beats, each of which is normally patrolled by a uniformed officer or officers in a marked squad car. Calls for service are received primarily through the city's 9-1-1 system which is answered by a city-operated emergency communications center. Each substation also has an investigative unit with detectives who are assigned cases of burglary and theft which are committed within the area covered by their division.

Other crimes are investigated by specialized investigative units including the Child Abuse Squad, Family Violence Squad, Narcotics Division, CAPERS Robbery Unit, CAPERS Assaults Unit, CAPERS Homicide Unit, Forgery Squad and a Computer Crimes Team.

A specialized Tactical Division includes a SWAT Operations Unit, Mounted Unit, Canine Unit, Helicopter Unit and an Explosive Ordnance Squad. The SWAT Operations Unit was featured on a reality series for the A&E Network in 2006 entitled "Dallas SWAT".


Departmental Awards

Officer Rick Stone is reported to be the most highly decorated member in city history. Officer Stone's awards included the Police Medal of Valor, Police Commendation Award, Police Commendation Award with Star, Life Saving Award, Certificate of Merit, Distinguished Service Award and multiple lesser medals, unit awards and commendations. He was also a Parade Magazine/International Association Chiefs of Police "Officer of the Year" nominee and twice nominated as the department's "Officer of the Year". In May 2003, Officer Stone's contributions to the history of the department were chosen to be included in a series of bronze plaques, created by New York artist Greg Lefevre, that were installed at the entrance to the newly constructed police headquarters building. [3]

Line of duty deaths

According to The Officer Down Memorial Page, between 1892 and 2011, 80 members of the Dallas Police Department died in the line of duty.[4] The best-known instance was the murder of Officer J. D. Tippit by Lee Harvey Oswald, approximately 40 minutes after Oswald shot President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963.

Other notable deaths include the murder of Officer Robert W. Wood on November 28, 1976, which was later examined in Errol Morris' documentary, The Thin Blue Line.[5] Additionally, Senior Corporal Victor Lozada, a motorcycle officer in the Traffic Division, was killed on February 22, 2008, while serving as part of an escort to Senator Hillary Clinton's motorcade near downtown Dallas for a presidential campaign event; Senior Corporal Lozada's funeral was attended by over 4,500 police officers as well as Senator Clinton.[6] Most recently, on January 6, 2009, Senior Corporal Norman Smith, an 18-year veteran, was shot and killed while attempting to serve an arrest warrant.[7]


Dallas Police Department headquarters

Killing of Santos Rodriguez

In July 1973, two Dallas police officers investigated a vending machine that had been burglarized of eight dollars. Early in the morning of July 24, two children, Santos and David Rodriguez were taken from their home and brought to the scene of the crime.[8] There, in order to scare twelve-year-old Santos Rodriguez into confessing, Officer Darrell L. Cain, after thinking he had emptied his service revolver of all its bullets, fired it at the boy. The second time he pulled the trigger, the gun discharged killing Santos Rodriguez who was still handcuffed.[9] Though Cain was arrested and indicted soon afterwards and was still in jail pending bond,[10] violence broke out.[11] Darrell L. Cain was found guilty by a jury in November 1973 and sentenced five years in prison.[12] He served half of it.[13] The City of Dallas apologized to the Rodriguez family forty years later.[14]

Adams investigation

The department was criticized for the conviction of Randall Dale Adams who was prosecuted for murdering Officer Robert Wood and was given the death penalty. Adams admitted[dubious ] being in the vehicle that was stopped by Officer Wood but stated that another person in the car was the shooter. Both suspects were arrested but the investigation identified Adams as the trigger man. A Texas appeals court set aside the murder conviction of Adams, who spent 12 years behind bars, and ordered a retrial. The appellate judges found that Dallas County prosecutors had suppressed evidence and knowingly used perjured testimony to obtain a conviction against Adams for the 1976 slaying. The Dallas County District Attorney decided not to re-try the case based on the length of time since the original crime and Adams was released.[5][15][16][17]

Robert Powell

On March 18, 2009, NFL player Ryan Moats's mother-in-law, Jonetta Collinsworth, died from breast cancer. Moats, his wife Tamisha (Collinsworth's daughter) and other family members rushed to Baylor Regional Medical Center in Plano, Texas, when they were informed that she was close to death. After driving through a red light,[18] Moats was stopped by police officer Robert Powell who delayed him for more than 10 minutes outside the hospital's emergency room, allowing the rest of the family to leave, even after Moats's ordeal was corroborated by a nurse in the hospital to Powell. Powell even drew his gun at Moats during the incident. By the time Moats reached Collinsworth, she had died. Moats questioned whether race could have played a factor in the interaction due to the nature and tone of the officer's remarks to the family; When asked if he felt if Officer Powell be fired, Moats said, "I really don't know. All I know is what he did was wrong. I mean, he stole a moment away from me that I can never get back. I'm really not the judge on what should happen to him. I think maybe his superiors and the Dallas police should handle what should happen to him."[19] Officer Powell issued an apology to Moats. Police officials investigated Powell's actions; he was placed on administrative leave but later resigned from the department.[18][18][20][21][21][22] After Moats' incident with Officer Powell, former Cowboy Zach Thomas acknowledged that Powell was the same officer who handcuffed and jailed his wife Maritza after she was pulled over for making an illegal u-turn in July 2008.[23]

Fake drug scandal

Beginning on December 31, 2001, the local ABC-affiliate, WFAA, began broadcasting a series of investigative reports alleging that hundreds of pounds of cocaine and methamphetamine seized by undercover officers of the DPD Narcotics Division during 2001 were actually not illegal substances.[24] The subsequent "fake drug" scandal led to dismissal of over 80 drug cases by the Dallas County District Attorney's office, multiple investigations, the indictment of three current or former DPD narcotics officers, the release of defendants (many whom were falsely accused Mexican immigrants) who had pleaded guilty to cases where later investigation revealed no illegal drugs were involved and the prosecution of multiple informants that had been used to make cases that were subsequently dismissed.[24] In 2003, the Dallas City Manager fired Dallas Police Chief Terrell Bolton, due in part for his Department's lack of oversight of the Narcotics Dept. officers involved in these fake drug arrests. He sued the City of Dallas over that firing but his case was dismissed with prejudice in 2005. Many of the 25 victims of the false arrests and wrongful prosecution won Federal Civil Rights Violations lawsuit settlements and actual jury case awards against the City of Dallas. One attorney who sued the city on behalf of what was a large percentage of Mexican immigrants who spoke little English, said, "the total cost could climb to as much as $8 million once all 25 cases are resolved." [25][26]

Ronald Jones beating

In December 2009, Dallas police officers received word that two white men were fighting in the downtown area. Failing to locate the described men, Officer Matthew Antkowiak discovered a black man crossing the street and made a pedestrian stop of him which turned into a scuffle. Other officers then joined in. The man, Ronald Jones, ended up spending fourteen months in jail on various charges. When Jones’ defense attorney viewed video tapes of the beating, he believed that the police reports had been falsified. The City contended that while the reports were inaccurate and incomplete, this was attributed in part to Officer Antkowiak's inability to accurately relate the events to the officer that did the actual report (Officer Antkowiak claimed to have suffered a closed-head injury during the incident that aggravated a prior confirmed injury). Mr. Jones was released and in March 2014 awarded $1.1 million by the city to settle the matter. Officer Antkowiak retired on an unrelated medical claim and is no longer employed in law enforcement. He has set up a private firm to train policemen. No other disciplinary action was taken against any official.[27]

2015 attack on Dallas police

On June 13, 2015, a man shot at Dallas police headquarters.[28] The headquarters building in Cedars and several patrol cars responding to the attack sustained damage from gunfire, but no civilians or police personnel were injured. The suspect, James Boulware, died after being struck by sniper fire from Dallas SWAT officers.

Rank structure

Rank Insignia
Chief 4 Gold Stars.svg
Executive Assistant Chief 3 Gold Stars.svg
Assistant Chief 2 Gold Stars.svg
Deputy Chief 1 Gold Star.svg
Major US-O4 insignia.svg
Captain Captain insignia gold.svg
Lieutenant US-O1 insignia.svg
Sergeant 35px
Senior Corporal LAPD Police Officer-3.jpg
Police Officer

Members of the department who are captains and below are protected by the city's civil service system with promotion based on the results of competitive examinations. Senior corporals typically are officers who serve either as field training officers in the Patrol Division or who serve as detectives in one of the department's investigative units. The rank captain has not been in use since 1992, however, those who were captains were allowed to keep it as well as those who were demoted from any chief position, as chiefs once demoted must retain their last non-command rank. There is currently only one captain remaining as of 2016. Majors, deputy chiefs and assistant chiefs are appointed by the chief of police without examination and do not hold civil service protection for these ranks. Division commander and bureau commander are non-civil service titles based on assignments. Members may hold both assignment titles and civil service or appointive ranks simultaneously. Thursday, October 4, 2012, Chief David Brown created a new major rank in between captain and deputy chief.[29]


Breakdown of the makeup of the rank and file of DPD as of April 2011[citation needed]:

  • Male: 83.24%
  • Female: 16.76%
  • White: 55.41%
  • African-American/Black: 24.54%
  • Hispanic: 17.15%
  • Asian: 1.73%
  • Native American: 0.78%
  • Other: 0.39%

In popular culture

The Dallas Police Department is portrayed in the 2010 Fox drama series, The Good Guys, and the 2010 TLC reality TV series, Police Women of Dallas.

The Dallas Police Department (Homicide Unit) is portrayed in the A&E Network's documentary series entitled The First 48.

The department's SWAT team is chronicled in the A&E Network's documentary series Dallas SWAT.


  1. Full-time Law Enforcement Employees by State by City, 2013
  2. Dallas Police Department Divisions
  3. "Decorated former Dallas officer wants chief chance". Dallas Morning News. September 15, 2003.
  4. "Dallas Police Department Page". Officer Down Memorial Page. 2010. Retrieved 2010-01-08.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 "`Blue Line' inmate freed after 12 years". Chicago Tribune. March 22, 1989. Retrieved 2008-03-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Officer killed in Clinton motorcade". Dallas Morning News. February 22, 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Details unfold in Dallas officer's shooting death". Dallas Morning News. January 8, 2009. Archived from the original on January 13, 2010. Retrieved December 25, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Darrell L. Cain, Appellant vs. The State of Texas, Appellee
  9. Shooting horror still vivid memory for former policeman
  10. Violence erupts in protest of Dallas slaying
  11. Memorial turns into rock throwing melee
  12. Cain sentenced to five years for slaying
  13. Retired Officer Remembers The Night Santos Rodriguez Was Killed
  14. "Editorial: Dallas finally apologizes 40 years after police officer murdered boy". Dallas Morning News. Dallas, Texas. 2013-09-23. Retrieved 2014-05-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "The Thin Blue Line Transcript". ErrolMorris.com. 2009. Retrieved 2008-03-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. Suro, Roberto (March 2, 1989). "CONVICTION VOIDED IN TEXAS MURDER". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-03-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. Suro, Roberto (November 27, 1988). "DEATH ROW LUCK: 'I'M STILL ALIVE'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2008-03-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 "Officer delayed Moats as relative died". ESPN.com. ESPN. March 26, 2009. Retrieved March 26, 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "Ryan Moats Talks With The FAN". 105.3 The FAN. Retrieved April 1, 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. Associated Press (April 1, 2009). "http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/29994542/". NBC Sports. Retrieved December 25, 2011. External link in |title= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. 21.0 21.1 "Dallas police chief apologizes for conduct of officer who drew gun on NFL player outside hospital". The Dallas Morning News. March 26, 2009. Retrieved March 26, 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. J.D. Miles (2009-04-01). "DPD Cop Involved In Stop Of NFL Player Resigns". CBS11 News, Dallas. Archived from the original on April 3, 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-01.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. "Another Allegation Surfaces Against Dallas Police Officer". ESPN. Retrieved March 29, 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. 24.0 24.1 "Fake Drugs, real lives: The Evolution of a Scandal". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 2008-03-18.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. Thomas Korosec (February 19, 2005). "Wrongly jailed immigrants in Dallas get $5.6 million". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved December 25, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. "Fake drug figure goes to jail". WFAA-TV. Archived from the original on 2008-05-06. Retrieved 2008-05-05.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  27. Dallas settles for $1.1 million in false arrest case, Rebecca Lopez, 26 March 2014, WFAA.COM retrieved 3 April 2014
  28. http://news.yahoo.com/gunshots-fired-near-dallas-police-headquarters-071556687.html#
  29. http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/DPD-Major-Promotions-Boost-Command-Staff-172750481.html

External links