We know the City of Dallas is aiming to strengthen its Citizens Police Review Board, the entity which examines alleged inappropriate police behavior within the Dallas Police Department against citizens.

In fact, I am fairly certain this is a done deal and will happen within the next two to three months.

Dallas City Council likes to tell citizens what they are going to do, before they do it, even though they know they are going to do it, under the guise of “informing”. And so the fifth in a series of public education meetings enlightened North Dallas Tuesday night at Gateway Church on Hillcrest Road at Willow Lane. The well-attended and, at times, contentious meeting, brought together three northern city council Districts (11, 12 and 13) as citizens voiced concerns over giving the board new teeth, subpoena power, creating a potentially political bureaucracy, and, as one attendee said, “insulting police by assuming that they are doing something wrong in the first place.”

In fact, we were told that Dallas has far fewer complaints against police than other cities of similar size, which the board said was because many people in Dallas are afraid to say anything negative about police. (I’m told that up until now, there has not even been a form to fill out.) Some at the meeting didn’t know the board even existed. The CPRB representative, Paul Hille, filling in for chair Dr. Brian Williams (appointed by Mayor Rawlings), had to explain to the large, mostly police friendly group, that not everyone considers the police friendly.

I daresay a vote for police pay raises in this group would have been a slam-dunk. (more…)