Police departments across North Texas are taking stock of their guidelines for officers on patrol in light of the recent ambush-style attacks on police. Some are now recommending police partner up on calls.
The responses have varied in some ways. But similar to the aftermath of the Dallas July 7 police ambush, departments are faced with reconsidering how they do their work and how to be safer.
Prosper PD Chief Doug Kowalski is in uniform every day, not knowing if it will make him a target.
“What we've told our officers is to be on a heightened state of awareness,” the chief said. “Officers are always supposed to be careful and cautious, but particularly now.”
Kowalski told his officers they can partner up if they feel safer doing so. But it's a small department, and one person units are the norm. What he is telling them now is no matter what, every officer on a traffic stop gets back up.
After the San Antonio shooting, Fort Worth police announced a mandatory two person per call policy. Irving, Arlington, Grand Prairie and Garland are among the departments that will leave the choice to pair up to officers.
In Dallas, the department's interim chief is recommending all officers ride with a partner.
It’s a move DPD Patrol Sgt. Mike Mata is also urging during nightly details. He told his officers to follow the recommendation, knowing that even a partner can't prevent all problems.
“What if it was just an individual walking down the sidewalk,” said Mata. “As officers, are we going to stop every single person that walks by us? No.”
Mata says what happened in San Antonio on Sunday is hard to prevent. He tells officers to be cautious while also asking the public to be patient.
“There's a reason we walk up slowly. There's a reason we may be sitting in our car,” Mata said. “You're on the traffic stop wondering when is this cop going to walk up? Well, he's probably waiting for cover.”
Prosper's police chief spent more than two decades in the Dallas Police Department before working in McKinney and Prosper. He foresees the events of the weekend leading to a renewed push to start reinforcing police cars with bullet proof or bullet-resistant glass and Kevlar panels.