Last month Dallas Police Chief, David Brown, suspended DWI Field Sobriety training for new recruits. Now another local agency is being scrutinized for its training methods. The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, which tracks the passage rate of police academies, labeled the Dallas County Sheriff Office’s Training Academy as “at risk.”
The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement rates training academies on a three-year basis. Though the Sheriff’s Office posted a passage rate of 86% in 2011 and 100% in 2012, 2013 proved to be a rough year. After 20 of 27 students failed in 2013, the three-year rating dropped to 61%. Any academy under 80% is considered “at risk.”
A spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Office, Carmen Castro, said that two classes in 2013 contributed to the low results. Castro said that the problem had already been addressed and is currently being remedied. She contributed the low scores in part to low morale caused by a lack of job openings. With no jobs available, cadets did not have a great incentive to pass the exam. New cadets are being assured that they will be placed on waiting lists for available jobs if they pass the exam.
At this point it’s impossible to know if 2013’s low passage rates resulted from that unique circumstance or is part of a bigger problem. If officers aren’t getting the training they need (and citizens deserve), then the cases these officers bring need to be scrutinized to ensure the arrests are lawful. This is certainly something that we will monitor at The Wilder Firm and provide updates as needed. Give us a call today if you have any questions, 214-741-4000.