Dallas, Texas – A strategic shift in law enforcement protocol to accelerate response time for high-priority incidents such as violent crimes has been Chief Eddie Garcia’s foremost commitment since assuming his role at the helm of the Dallas Police Department (DPD) in early 2021.
Dallas Police Department officially switched to online reporting for most non-emergency calls
In a transformative move, as of Monday this week, Dallas law enforcement now mandates the online reporting of non-violent, lower-level offenses like theft, burglary, shoplifting, and minor traffic incidents. This fundamental shift in policing, previously optional, is now a necessity, serving as a measure to free up resources and streamline operations.
“We want our officers to be available to respond quickly and efficiently to any high-priority call,” Garcia said during a news conference announcing the change in June.
Dallas Police Department had the online reporting option for years. Now, the non-emergency incident reports become mandatory
Launched over two years ago, the DPD’s online crime reporting system for non-violent and non-emergency offenses offered victims an alternative to traditional 9-1-1 calls. However, as of July 3rd, this option has transitioned into an obligatory procedure.
The DPD invested significant effort throughout June, hosting public demonstrations on report filing using the accessible kiosks installed at each police substation. Moreover, citizens seeking to report any of the specified 18 crime categories can avail themselves of the DPD’s online reporting platform or use their personal mobile devices.
Dallas Police Department says you can still report illegal fireworks by calling 911
This alteration in policy coincides with one of the busiest holiday weekends, when illegal fireworks and celebratory gunfire flood emergency dispatchers with calls. The DPD clarified in an email correspondence that such calls for service are not expected to be online.
“The Dallas Police Department encourages those who are reporting random gunfire to call 911,” a DPD spokesperson said. “If they are reporting fireworks, they can report it through 311 or by also calling 911 since it is something that is in progress.”
It’s noteworthy that other North Texas law enforcement agencies including those in Fort Worth, Arlington, Plano, and Denton provide non-compulsory online reporting systems.
For those interested in filing a report, they can visit the official Dallas Police website. For citizens without internet access, local libraries or police substation kiosks serve as alternatives.