A Dallas detective who apparently kept files of domestic violence cases at his home has retired amid an internal investigation of his practices.
According to an article on NBC DFW’s website, the man, a 40-year veteran of the department, worked with the family violence unit for about five years. During his time in the department, he apparently took home 2,200 case files so he could “work from home.”
However, it was recently revealed that he allegedly didn’t contact most of the victims, and that 508 of them had experienced “re-victimization” when victims were hurt more than once by the same suspect. In many of those cases, the statute of limitations would limit any legal action.
The detective allegedly entered only 16 cases into an internal system and filed 217 of them over the five-year period. After an initial review in 2009, the man was reassigned to the auto pound unit. He resigned last month as news of the investigation was released.
The deputy chief of the department says that she’s disappointed in the detective’s apparent mishandling of domestic violence cases, and notes that other officers in the unit are “caring people.” She asked people not to lose faith in the department.
Unfortunately, the officer’s actions may have silenced victims who struggled to speak up in the first place. The executive director of the Genesis Women’s Shelter in Dallas tells NBC, “I think that when someone does step up and has that courage, it’s incumbent on all of us to follow through with that.”
Source: NBC DFW, “Dallas police detective quits after accusations of case mishandling,” Feb. 10, 2012