Dallas PD now offering 30 days of paid leave for officers seeking alcohol abuse help
The department will monitor an officer’s progress and ensure they spend the full month in a rehabilitation program
By Ashley Silver
DALLAS — The Dallas Police Department revealed a plan to tackle a growing issue within their department: a noticeable increase in alcohol-related arrests involving officers.
According to the Dallas Morning News, at least six Dallas police officers have been arrested over the last year on drunken driving or public intoxication charges. The department is getting to the root of the problem by giving officers time off to seek help. Officers who request assistance for alcohol abuse will now be provided with 30 days of paid leave to enroll in a rehabilitation program.
The action is just one component of the department’s new officer wellness program, which was launched earlier this year with the goal of officer safety in mind.
“The concern for alcohol-related issues is real to me,” Chief Eddie García told the Dallas Morning News. “It damages our officers’ personal and professional lives.”
Once the Dallas PD wellness unit has been notified that an officer has requested time off to receive help, they will monitor the officer’s progress and ensure they spend 30 days in the rehabilitation program. Requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, but generally one 30-day leave will be approved per officer.
“It’s not healthy to see, you know, somebody murdered in the street,” Mike Mata, president of the Dallas Police Association, told the Dallas Morning News. “It’s not healthy to see kids beaten. It’s not healthy to see abused wives. It’s just part of the job. And those are just hard things to take home and just forget about. ‘Cause you just can’t. You just can’t forget about it.”
Several law enforcement groups, including the Dallas National Latino Law Enforcement Organization and Black Police Association, are applauding the new measures in Dallas to support the mental health of its officers.
DOWNLOAD: Smash the stigma: Building a culture that supports officer wellness