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Dallas PD making changes to improve specialized unit training

“Everybody’s on the same set of tactics, same playing field and we’re not working off of each other trying to guess what each other’s doing,” one of the trainers said



By Sarah Roebuck

DALLAS — The Dallas Police Department has created a new training system for all officers who work in specialized units, KDFW reports.

The training comes after the death of Tyre Nichols. Nichols was killed by a specialized police unit in Memphis, causing some police departments to dismantle specialized units in high-crime areas.

“The question isn’t whether or not we need them here in the city of Dallas. We absolutely need them. The question is can we make them better?” Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia told KDFW.

Garcia said they are working to improve specialized units with better tactics through updated training.

To improve their units, Dallas PD has created the Tactical Training Group.

The most experienced officers, known as trainers, impart their expertise by instructing various specialized units such as SWAT, fugitive, gang unit, narcotics, special patrol units and the community response team.

Trainers said the police department takes a unified approach to every potentially dangerous situation. To achieve this, real-life situations are set up in various places for training. This week, the training took place in a warehouse that had rooms built out to resemble living areas.

“So when they go out into real life, real-world situations, they are more cohesive,” Sgt. Matt Banes, with the Dallas Police Tactical Training Group, told KDFW. “Everybody’s on the same set of tactics, same playing field and we’re not working off of each other trying to guess what each other’s doing.”

Garcia said Dallas Police Department’s Tactical Training Group is the first in the nation. He said the group has more than just training.

“Really look at our specialized units, you know. What’s the best selection process for officers in specialized units? What’s the best selection process for supervisors in specialized units?” Garcia told KFDW. “They’ll be the professional specialized units that we need to be surgical about when they go into certain neighborhoods to rid that area of violent crime.”

Garcia said he hopes the training he started will be added to other departments so other specialized units can be safely trained the same way.

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