Dallas Police Chief Halts Field Sobriety Training Because Minority Recruits Keep Failing

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Dallas Police Chief David Brown is once again denying accusations that DPD has watered down recruit training standards.

The allegations were leveled recently by Dallas Police Association President Ron Pinkston, who said a recruit was allowed to retake and ultimately pass the police academy driving test despite multiple failures. A week ago, Brown provided few specifics but said that all policies had been followed. He vowed to launch an internal affairs investigation to find the source of Pinkston's information.

On Thursday, Brown offered a few more specifics. The recruit in question did fail his driving test on multiple occasions, DPD said in a press release, and there was a discussion in the chain of command of whether to fire him, but a decision was ultimately made by Assistant Chief Patricia Paulhill to offer remedial training and a retest.

This, Brown says, is in accordance with police academy policy. Each recruit gets two shots to pass the driving test before receiving remedial training and two shots after. This particular recruit hadn't received remedial training until Paulhill made her decision.

See also: Dallas PD Chief David Brown Vows to ID Cop Who Said DPD Has Eased Training Standards

That was one thing Brown took away from his review of DPD training standards. The other is that there is that two police academy courses -- driving and field sobriety training -- have been weeding out minority recruits at a disproportionate rate.

Over the past five years, five would-be cops have been fired after flunking their driving test. All five were black or Hispanic. (The recruit referenced by Pinkston is black.)

During the same period, nine would-be cops have flunked the field-sobriety training. Eight were black or Hispanic.

Cletus Judge, president of the Black Police Association of Greater Dallas, says those numbers are suspicious.

"I think it has to do with the way the test is given," he says.

Both the driving and field-sobriety tests include evaluations by a supervisor, which leaves considerable room for subjectivity. Anecdotally, Judge hears of cases of disparate treatment -- maybe one recruit who brush up against a cone on the driving course is docked more than another who knocks the cone over -- but he wants to see the data: who's passing, who's failing, and, most importantly, who's doing the evaluations.

"If there's a direct correlation between the person giving the test and the [African American recruits] failing, that person needs to go," Judge says.

On Tuesday, Brown responded to those concerns by ordering police-academy staff to suspend the field-sobriety training while the department ensures it is consistent with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration guidelines.

"We will continue to review all of our training to ensure our high standards are not compromised in any way and that we make necessary adjustments to continually improve," Brown said in a statement.

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.


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51 comments
Americano
Americano

Nothing funnier than watching special interest minority groups argue with each other over who is the most special interest minority.

Catbird
Catbird

Brown should just stop the charade of "testing" anyone. There are no standards. Just pin a badge on anyone who wants one. Arm them, put them in a car and unleash them on the people. Let the judges sort everything out in the courts.

annff69
annff69

Record video of all testing. That will prove what needs to be fixed/changed.


WylieH
WylieH

[Brown responded to those concerns by ordering police-academy staff to suspend the field-sobriety training while the department ensures it is consistent with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration guidelines.]

How does that affect pending DUI/DWI prosecutions, if the officers giving testimony have been administering non-compliant sobriety tests?

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Interesting stat:


White population of Dallas:  28.8%


DPD White officers:              55.4%

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

I know what you mean by "field sobriety training", the administering of field sobriety tests.  Given the behavior of various DPD cops the last two years, however, I wouldn't be shocked to find the academy giving training on how to stay sober in the field.

WhyDontYouJoinNAMBLA
WhyDontYouJoinNAMBLA

So basically rather than keeping high standards, race pimps are going to insist we have a special ed class for cops in order to keep artificially inflated numbers of certain identity groups in uniform. 


Then when those special ed cops shoot or rape citizens there will be more manufactured outrage at the results of the outraged's own gerrymandering.

WhyDontYouJoinNAMBLA
WhyDontYouJoinNAMBLA

Yup. It's always that the test is somehow racist and never actually has anything to do with the person taking the test.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

I'm not quite sure I understand the terminology as applied here, are they suggesting that nine applicants took the driving test drunk?

Now, we know that Latinos and blacks have a slightly higher problem with DWI arrests, but the ratio here is way out of whack.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

Also, how in the hell can a driving test be culturally biased?  WTF? 

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

 The other is that there is that two police academy courses -- driving and field sobriety training -- have been weeding out minority recruits at a disproportionate rate.


Remember when I was racist for saying that?  You know, last week?


http://mvn.io/1iwMj5y

AdamsonScott
AdamsonScott

@bvckvs Oh puhleeze - the DO barely mentions the gay/lesbian community.  It's a white hipster rag, pure and simple.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@bvckvs  The DO is no whiter than the Huffington Post or the CNN producer ranks, and they are certainly "liberal".


Face it, liberals love minorities -- as a concept.  As coworkers and friends?  Not so much.

wcvemail
wcvemail

@WylieH  
Good catch - this has grown beyond a simple training issue, and opens the door to appeals based on possible non-compliance by ALL officers, not just the present cadet class. Will all police officers have to undergo remedial training for full NHTSA training, if present training is deemed faulty?

And how will these present cadets make up the training? They're not going to be twiddling their thumbs while waiting on the politics, and will presumably be certified at the scheduled end of this class. What happens when they pull over a suspected DWI -- will they have to call in a fully certified officer? 

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz  White Population of Dallas: 28.8%


White Population of Dallas Observer: 100% (hell, one of them is so white he's actually English and another white-flighted his way here from Detroit.)

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz  

Not interesting at all, just a factoid.  What would make it interesting would be to look at the ethnicity of all applicants, the ethnicity of all candidates and finally the ethnicity of all graduates.  And then, ethnicity by years of service.  Now that would be interesting.

wcvemail
wcvemail

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz  

Another interesting stat is the 40% of black males who have been/will be arrested by the time they're 23 years old. Depending on seriousness of the crime and its disposition, that eliminates up to 40% of the population from police service.

Then add the % of black males who don't finish high school, even without an arrest record, and the pool shrinks even further. So it's not so much an interesting stat as it is a telling one.

Never mind the injustice of being arrested for "driving while black" and such, we're talking statistics, and the statistics by themselves eliminate the majority of black males from police service.

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz Are you implying that every job should be filled in a percentage proportional to the local racial population?


It is a stat.  It is not interesting.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@NAMBLA

Affirmative action is not going away anytime soon, it will, as is traditional with the left, I mean liberals, I mean Progressives, merely be re-named and the disguise will be altered a bit until it's outed, then rinse, repeat.

wcvemail
wcvemail

@everlastingphelps  

I can answer that with a textbook definition from an instructional design/training POV: if there is subjectivity in the evaluator's eyes. As mentioned, if minimal points are deducted for the same error (brushing a cone) for one cultural class of candidates, but more points are deducted for the same error for a different class of candidates, then the test can be said to be culturally biased. 

In reality, if a candidate or class of candidates were absolutely failed for a simple point difference for a single maneuver, then that difference would be obvious. Given the high "cultural scrutiny" of this training, I think that would be impossible. From a citizen's POV, if a small, reasonable point difference varying from one instructor to another makes the difference between passing and failing, then that candidate was already too close to failing to begin with. 

WhyDontYouJoinNAMBLA
WhyDontYouJoinNAMBLA

@everlastingphelps  It's simple. In the eyes of racist liberals blacks and hispanics are not as capable as whites because they are black or hispanic. 

J_A_
J_A_

Well you know what they say about Asian drivers

casiepierce
casiepierce

@wcvemail @WylieHUm, they will give a breath test and if the suspect refuses, they will take the suspect to jail, same as always. It's real easy to fail a field sobriety test and still be sober.

Catbird
Catbird

@wcvemail @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz Maybe there should be a separate "black" police force and judicial system? This whole white law and law enforcement system just doesn't seem to be working for our black brothers. Terri Hodge advocated as much before she went to prison. 

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@PlanoDave

You're supposed to draw a conclusion, and you know it can't be a good one because Texas.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@NAMBLA

In the eyes of blacks, Latinos are stealing their neighborhoods, schools and jobs while Asians are stealing their convenience stores. In the eyes of Latinos, blacks are dangerous, lazy and undesirable neighbors. The results are essentially race wars, but not described as such by a majority-white, liberal press which sees its collective task as righting the wrongs of only one class and/or race, which is the reason they went to J-school.

J-school is the one of the liberal versions of religious study.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@J_A_

More Asian cops = fewer high-speed pursuits.

wcvemail
wcvemail

@casiepierce @wcvemail @WylieH  
Sure, but the issue of previous training that may not have been in compliance with NHTSA (source of funding for DWI programs) will be a fertile issue for a decent defense atty. That's true now when attys attack an officer's training on the breathalyzer, tuning up of the breath device itself, etc. When attys start asking for the training records of the arresting officer's class in the wake of this mess, the prosecutors may just start dismissing.

Understood, as with people who have passed the sobriety tests and the breathalyzer but still are arrested, you can beat the rap but you can't beat the ride. That's always seemed outrageous to me, but it happens.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@wcvemail  

As is NAMBLA's response. My question is in direct response to NAMBLA's knee-jerking and has almost nothing to do with the article.


Incidentally, there is nothing in the article that indicates the race of the test administrator.

wcvemail
wcvemail

C'mon, Hulk, you're better than that. No specific knowledge, no, but the question emanates from a non-white group officer (Cletus Judge), questioning the identity of a test administrator specifically in the context of failed minority candidates. Cletus is not saying the tester is too tough on all candidates, or he would not have specifically mentioned that said candidates are non-white.

This is like a SAT logic question. Obviously Judge's question is racially motivated.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@juanmayeaux

... the Asians think they are better than the Whites, Black and the Latinos.

Well, in many respects, they are.

juanmayeaux
juanmayeaux

@TheRuddSki Amen brother. One thing to add is that the Asians think they are better than the Whites, Black and the Latinos.

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