What Dallas Cops Think: An Exclusive D Magazine Survey


We assigned numerical values to each of the responses, with a 1 representing “strongly agree” and a 5 representing “strongly disagree.” We then averaged the numerical equivalent of each response. Combining the results shows that the Dallas Police Department is in trouble.

The most striking thing about the numbers is that they are uniform and uniformly bleak. Across every demographic—veterans, rookies, blacks, whites—Dallas cops are suffering low morale: 2.3 on a 1-10 scale. On the whole, cops don’t think they have the support of City Manager Ted Benavides or Mayor Laura Miller. They believe the Internal Affairs Division is poorly managed. They believe the department discriminates against its officers by race, ethnicity, or gender. And they believe violent crime is on the rise.

The only significant disagreement between opinions of demographic groups comes with respect to Chief Terrell Bolton. While every other racial group expresses a profound lack of confidence in Bolton’s leadership, black cops appear neutral on the question.

The only real good news: cops believe they have the training to do their jobs effectively, and they’re not rushing to quit the department.

Here’s the survey that Chief Terrell Bolton tried to stop. It’s now clear why. His troops are suffering from low morale, and they don’t have confidence in their leader—all this while crime rates continue to climb.