On June 1 of last year, the Dallas Police Department launched a new records management and field reporting system. Police officials promised it would give the department “improved intelligence-gathering capabilities, increased accountability throughout the investigative process, and improved integration with the District Attorney’s Office.” The new system would also briefly shut down the online records portal. Thirty days tops, they said. No big deal.
“While it is the strong desire of the City of Dallas and the Dallas Police Department to provide timely and accurate public access to report information, every effort must be made to first ensure that we are in compliance with State and Federal laws and guidelines regarding the privacy of certain information,” read a May 28 press release.
Almost three months later, the reports finally came back—kind of. Before the new system, many reports would include a narrative, outlining what allegedly happened during the crime. “Man punched cousin in face.” “Woman shoved 12 Twix bars down her shirt, attempted to walk out of 7-Eleven.” Things like that. Some were just a sentence or two. But others would stretch over a page, adding valuable context. Continue>>>