Dallas Police Department Announces Plans To Move Non-Emergency Calls To Online Reporting System
In an effort to improve response times, the Dallas Police Department will now be diverting all non-emergency incidents to an online reporting system, according to Dallas Magazine.
Estimated to save over 100,000 hours, the Dallas Online Reporting System (DORS) will now be used to report all low-priority and non-emergency incidents. Deputy City Manager Jon Fortune delivered a memo to the Dallas City Council, saying that incidents such as vandalism and minor car wrecks will soon be reported online rather than directly with the police department. Doing so is expected to free hours of the department’s time, allowing resources to be spent on more serious issues and to work on crime prevention. These new procedures are set to be implemented in mid-June.
DORS is not an entirely new concept for many Dallas residents. Those who have previously been involved in non-emergency incidents like small car accidents or theft have likely already utilized the system as people are able to report such incidents on the Dallas Police Department’s website. However, now this online reporting will be required, not optional. If a person is not able to complete an online report because of internet inaccessibility, they are instructed to call a police department representative.
911 administrator Robert Uribe spoke at a May 8 meeting of the council’s Public Safety Committee about the need for DORS. Uribe told the committee that between, 2019 and 2022, 19 percent of calls where an officer was dispatched could have been handled through the online reporting system.
“Despite our best efforts, our DORS use and phone report usage remains low,” he said. “So far in 2023, we’ve diverted 6 percent of all calls that are eligible. Of course, we would prefer to divert 100 percent of those calls.”
Uribe also shared that there was a 7.6 percent increase in priority one phone calls in 2022, which are considered the most urgent. Priority two phone calls increased by about 3 percent. “These calls require multiple officers to go to the scene, and this can also increase the workloads of teams across our department,” he said.
These phone calls are also increasing police response times. Priority one response times have been increasing by 6.21 percent since 2022 while priority two response times have increased by 42 percent. Priority three calls have increased by 53 percent and priority four by more than 30 percent.
The police department’s new system is also caused by low officer staffing. “We took a look at our staffing levels compared to priority one calls since 2011,” Uribe said. “What we saw was that since 2011, our priority one calls have increased over 70 percent, while our sworn staffing level has decreased by 10 percent.”
The DPD commissioned KPMG to analyze its staffing and phone calls. The KPMG report suggested working with other agencies to divert certain types of calls. For example, parking violations would now be settled through the city’s transportation department.
Other changes include a new towing program, which will allow officers to respond to other calls. Kiosks with tablets will also be installed at all department substations and storefronts that would allow people to use DORS.
Uribe assured the committee that this new reporting system will not interfere with how reports are typically investigated. “Everyone should understand that it does not change the investigative process,” he said. “The same follow-up units are notified, and they complete their investigation as is standard through any police report that’s filed.”
Other incidents that would move to this new system include car and coin-operated machine burglary, debit or credit card abuse, harassing phone calls, identity theft, interference with child custody, and some types of theft. For a full list of included incidents, visit www.dallascityhall.com.