An audit of Dallas police moonlighting jobs found tens-of-thousands of incidents where officers worked more than 16 hours in a day.
FOX4 first reported Thursday on concerns in a confidential memo to council that fatigue could be putting the safety of officers and the public at risk. The audit found that even under city policy, Dallas police officers are allowed to work up to 112 hours a week -- that's nearly equal to three fulltime jobs.
The audit said research shows that could lead officers to make bad judgement calls.
In a job that requires being alert and aware at all times, research links police officer fatigue with serious consequences: heightening "biases," "impaired driving performance," and even increases in "use-of-force incidents.”
It's why Dallas City Councilman Philip Kingston hopes the audit turns into action.
“Police officer is a highly stressful job,” Kingston said. “This is a good first step in figuring out an accountable system.”
Over the course of two years, auditors found more than 21,600 incidents were officers worked more than 16 hours a day in combined off-duty and on-duty work. That is a violation of city policy.
Auditors also found that even under the city's policy, officers are allowed to work a number of hours that could be dangerous. While Dallas allows officers to work 72 additional hours a week in off-duty work, the majority of other cities surveyed limit off-duty hours to 36 a week.
“Fatigue is at the top of everyone's mind,” Kingston said.
The audit first began in Oct. 2017, nearly a year before the shooting death of Botham Jean by off-duty DPD Officer Amber Guyger. The question about Guyger's mental awareness is one of many questions in the investigation.
Police said on the night of the shooting she had just worked a 12-hour shift. FOX4 asked for records of Guyger's work hours in the days before the shooting, but the city denied our request.
In response to the audit, Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall said in a statement:
"We have reviewed the results and agree with the findings that have been presented. Policy review is underway and we look forward to implementing the changes that are necessary to ensure the safety of our officers and the community."
The Dallas Police Department is now looking into purchasing software to better regulate off-duty requests, and the number of hours officers are working. The department said it is virtually impossible to do that with the software they have now.