DALLAS, TX – The Dallas Police Department will suspend field sobriety test classes for recruits pending a review of whether the training meets national guidelines, Chief David Brown announced Thursday.
The announcement came as Brown once again denied the Dallas Police Association’s allegations that the department lowered training standards to hire unqualified recruits.
Brown released the statement after reporters inquired about an email from a training academy staff member that said a commander had decided that recruits would no longer have to pass the practical test that determines whether they can properly administer field sobriety tests. The recruits would now have to pass only a written exam, the email said.
The email was sent days after Dallas Police Association President Ron Pinkston sent a letter to City Manager A.C. Gonzalez saying that one particular recruit was allowed to take a test repeatedly until he passed. That would be contrary to the department’s usual procedures.
The day after Pinkston’s letter, Brown denied the standards had declined but said the department would open an internal investigation into the “source of these allegations.” When asked for clarification, Brown said in an email to The Dallas Morning News that the internal investigation was meant to further examine whether there was any truth to the allegation, not who leaked the information.
He said Thursday that the department followed procedures with that recruit and that the department “will continue to review all of our training to ensure our high standards are not compromised in any way and that we make necessary adjustments to continually improve.”
Pinkston said he still isn’t buying Brown’s explanations.
“The question that begs to be answered is, is Dallas police management being honest with the citizens of Dallas?” he said. “The Dallas Police Association knows they aren’t.”