A Dallas police officer is speaking out against the department he serves, claiming police teams are suffering from overwork and low morale.
Officer Nick Novello, 62, who has been serving under the Dallas Police Department for over 34 years, accuses police Chief David Brown of failing to uphold his vows by manning a team of officers who are underpaid, understaffed and “disillusioned.”
He also blamed Brown of seeking to draw the public’s approval by trying to give out law enforcement job opportunities to black men — but not actively trying to solve the problems faced by their community.
“We’re hiring,” Brown said in response to a question about what advice he’d give young black men. “Get off that protest line and put an application in, and we’ll put you in your neighborhood, and we will help you resolve some of the problems you’re protesting about.”
However, Novello says Brown has a discriminatory arrest “quota” that specifically targets black minorities, one that is counteractive to getting them employed in the police force.
“Officers are under pressure to reach targets. There has to be an end to the arrest and ticket quota that exists within the Dallas Police Department. I am sick and tired of the public face of togetherness the chief puts on when he knows there's a lot of bad feeling behind the scenes.” said Novello. “In my estimation the quota system is corrupt. You are telling the officer who has a great deal of power that he is required to exercise that and generate funds for the city. Arrests generate money.”
Novello added Brown had been called upon by four separate police associations to hand over his badge after he introduced shift changes that resulted in resentment among the staff.
“We are vastly understaffed. Last month we lost 48-50 officers, which is unheard of,” he stated. “One officer left to go drive a Coca-Cola truck. Another who was 43 years old retired after 14 years saying ‘I'm out, I'm out.’ Morale is very low.”
Novello has called for better legal assistance for Dallas officers who blow the whistle on corrupt officers and did not seem concerned about the fact that he could lose his $88,000 job over his revelations.
“I believe it would give me a platform to speak. Anything I speak about… I can prove everything I say. Not only can't we police ourselves, sometimes we go out of our way to protect the predator cop,” the rebel cop said.
But he did seem concerned over the understaffing of the police force.
“As a police officer I can look you in the eye and say ‘We have got your back, we are out there patrolling’… but no we are not. I can recall a number of days when I went to detail in the morning and there might have been seven of us there and after they have put officers on special assignment, there were one or two police officers for the whole district.”