In what the Dallas Police Department is calling an expansion of alternate reporting methods, they are amending their response protocols to limit officer contact with the public for non-emergency and property-related offenses. They say that this will not affect their responses to crimes against persons and other “High Priority Calls”.
Instead of officer responses, victims are being asked to use the Dallas Online Reporting System and click on the “File a Police Report Online” tab. The Dept says that an investigation will be conducted just as if an officer had taken the report at the scene.
Among the low-level crimes affected are Burglary of a Motor Vehicle, Criminal Mischief, Reckless Damage, Shoplifting, Property Theft (Auto Accessories), and similar.
We all want our Officers to be as safe as possible and especially available for the really important stuff. We don’t need them out of commission due to any illness but it begs the question, “Will this lead to an increase in property crime?” Let’s hope not.
A word of warning though to all concealed carriers and gun owners. Even though Texas law contains provisions for the use of deadly force to protect personal property, don’t do it. Even if you have intimate knowledge of all the conditions that must be met to do so (and that will include not just knowledge of the state statute but also the case law that determines how those statutes are applied) it is simply not worth the risk of what the legal system will do to you if you get even one small thing wrong.
Not mention the emotional, social and financial damage it could cause you. Defending yourself from potential charges will easily, by many times, cost more than the value of whatever you’re trying to save. Increase your preventative measures if you can but once a criminal gets their hands on your stuff don’t even think about using your gun to stop them. That’s a call the DPD will respond to and you’ll have a lot of explaining to do