Dallas PD memo sheds light on disbanded vice unit

Records obtained by FOX 4 help explain why the Dallas police chief disbanded the city's vice squad. The unit was broken up two months ago.

Critics are concerned the decision was made too quickly and could lead to more crime.

READ MORE: Dallas police chief slashes number of top-level command staff

A seven-page memo written by a deputy chief describes a unit with serious problems involving money. It was The memo was written eleven days after Chief Renee Hall disbanded the vice unit.

Michael Mendez is a retired 23-year veteran of the vice unit. He did not work in vice during the time period under investigation. He says vice detectives need cash for many undercover operations.

“We would develop a buy sheet and write a paragraph, what the investigation consisted of, what we expected out of it, and that we needed $200-300 for the operation,” he explained.

According to the memo, the documentation problems came to light back in November 2016 after new leadership took over the narcotics division. An audit found a "multitude of problems with the expenditure reporting.” One detective was found to have "mishandled her funds.”

A review even revealed possible "criminal allegations." The last mention of a criminal investigation in the timeline was July 7, 2017, when detectives "were very upset at being requested to interview on the first anniversary of the July 7th Dallas police shooting."

Mendez is concerned that criminals are savvy enough to know what's happened.

"They know the city has taken all those officers off the street and they have free reign to do as they please here,” Mendez said.

In a statement, president of the Dallas Police Association said, "Detectives in the vice unit placed their lives on the line on a daily basis conducting dangerous, complex investigations and welcomed the implementation of these new procedures.  Unfortunately, a decision was made to disband the unit before the full effect of these changes could be examined and implemented."

"What happens if you don't pick up the garbage every day? It begins to pile and you get rats and rodents,” Mendez said. “It begins to fester. You've got to pick it up every day."

Any reference to a specific amount of money that was unaccounted for was noticeably absent from the memo.

The Dallas Police Department says the criminal allegations are still under investigation.

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