Dallas police chief: Claims of lowered training standards are unfounded

Dallas Police Chief David Brown responded Friday to allegations that his department had lowered testing standards for recruits, blasting the claims as unfounded.

Brown said he found no evidence that his department violated procedures by allowing recruits to repeatedly take driving and shooting tests until they passed.

The chief launched an internal review after the president of the Dallas Police Association sent a letter to city officials Thursday complaining that the department had grown lax in its testing requirements for operating police vehicles and shooting firearms.

In the letter, Ron Pinkston cited one recruit who apparently failed the vehicle operations course more than the four times allowed by policy. He also accused the department of allowing “marginal” shooters to take remedial training until they succeeded.

After interviewing employees involved in training, Dallas police said they found “no facts” to suggest that shooters were given remedial lessons until they qualified. Police also said they abided by department policy by allowing the recruit to retake the driving test.

Brown is launching an internal affairs investigation into the source of the allegations. “We take these allegations very seriously and will not tolerate the lowering or downgrading of our training standards,” he said in a statement.

Pinkston remained confident that evidence supports his claims and asked that Brown release documents to prove otherwise.

“I’m also disappointed that he is starting an internal affairs investigation to find out who leaked the information, instead of starting an internal affairs investigation to find out who bypassed the policies and procedures already set in place,” Pinkston said.

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