DPD To Roll Out New Off-Duty Work System

Dallas police | Image by DPD/Facebook

Dallas police will soon integrate a new software program to step up the department’s monitoring of officers’ off-duty jobs.

The City of Dallas entered into a contract with RollKall Technologies for a scheduling program that will increase the transparency of police officers’ secondary employment. The Dallas City Council unanimously approved the arrangement on April 10. The contract will run for three years and cost taxpayers over $815,000.

An internal audit conducted in 2018 found that the Dallas Police Department lacked oversight over its officers’ off-duty work. Namely, DPD had no way of ensuring that officers were not exceeding the allowable number of off-duty work hours. DPD’s policy allowed officers to work up to 16 hours per day and 112 hours per week. Since the department’s general orders’ latest update in August 2023, the daily maximum hours remained unchanged, but the weekly allowable maximum hours an officer may work was reduced to 80.

As the 2018 audit report described, a DPD officer working 40 hours on duty could complete up to 72 hours of off-duty work, according to the former guidelines. Yet the Intelligent Workforce Management System used by DPD to manage off-duty employment failed to track work hours adequately. The software system processed officers’ requests for off-duty work and supervisorial approvals.

“As a result, DPD cannot readily determine whether DPD officers are complying with General Order 421.00, which could increase the risk that police officers may be more fatigued, less efficient, and less likely to behave in a professional manner,” the report read.

Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia fired two officers in April for allegedly behaving inappropriately while on duty. One was purported to have failed to provide a prisoner with medical treatment, and the other reportedly made sexual comments to a woman during a call for service, as covered by The Dallas Express.

Up to 714,000 off-duty work hours are put in by DPD officers working an estimated 135,000 secondary jobs yearly, according to The Dallas Morning News. The audit report suggests that these jobs offer widespread advantages, such as a crime deterrent at no extra cost to the City, additional income for DPD officers, and a means to offset the costs of uniforms, vehicles, and equipment. Moreover, off-duty officers working, for instance, in security during a parade, could more easily liaise with on-duty officers in the event of an emergency.

The new software from RollKall will reportedly increase the efficiency of off-duty work by streamlining assignments, scheduling, and invoicing while ensuring compliance with DPD policy.

“The department is now planning the rollout of the platform, along with education and training for officers, vendors, and the public on the new technology,” a DPD spokesperson told DMN.

DPD has struggled to recruit and retain quality officers, resulting in a critical staffing shortage. Roughly 3,000 sworn-in officers are deployable citywide, even though a City report recommended a force of closer to 4,000 to ensure public safety.

Specific crime categories — such as property crime — have soared partly due to the officer shortage. Downtown Dallas regularly logs more crime than Fort Worth’s city center, which is patrolled by a dedicated police unit and private security guards. In February alone, the Metroplex Civic & Business Association found that Downtown Dallas saw 61 times more motor vehicle thefts than Cowtown’s downtown area.

Moreover, the number of taxpayer dollars directed toward policing in Dallas pales in comparison to other high-crime cities, including Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City. The Dallas City Council approved a budget of just $654 million for DPD this fiscal year.

Support our non-profit journalism

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Continue reading on the app
Expand article