DPD warns officers of upcoming period of no time off due to Guyger trial, State Fair, other events

Image 1 of 3

The Dallas Police Department is planning for what some are calling the "O.J. trial of Dallas,” with the upcoming trial of former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger.

DPD has told the rank and file there will be no time off in the days surrounding that trial in September.

Much of the concern centers around potential fallout from the Amber Guyger trial.

But that's not the only high interest event on the watch list.

The same week Guyger heads to trial in the murder of Botham Jean, the State Fair of Texas parades into South Dallas, with hundreds of thousands of visitors a day heading to Fair Park.

“And you also have political races, and you have elections during that time, so you have dignitaries that might be coming in and out,” said Mike Mata, president of the Dallas Police Association.

And police are preparing like they did in 2016, before Donald Trump came to Dallas.

Officers were on horseback and in riot gear for mobile field force training, when recruits played the role of demonstrators.

“The police department’s administrative staff is looking at this and looking how we're going to handle these different scenarios, and doing our best to be ready to handle whatever comes,” Mata added.

Mata said that directives have come down that no police officers have time off from the time the Guyger trial gets underway, the week of September 23, through at least October 7.

“Nobody likes to be out there in the hot sun, riot gear, and those kinds of things,” Palestine Police Chief Andy Harvey said. “Again, it’s not fun at all, but if we don’t do it, we're doing a disservice to our city.”

Harvey served in the Dallas Police Department, rising up the ranks, before leaving.

SWAT teams that respond to various situations where danger is imminent were also included in the “all hands on deck” memo, as well as detectives who wear plain clothes, who were told to have uniforms nearby if needed.

“If we don’t prepare for something like an Amber Guyger trial, or the state fair, and something happens, then it’s on us,” Harvey added.

“This is definitely going to be a very, very busy city during that period of time. It’s going to put a lot of stress on the manpower of the city of Dallas, and I think even our surrounding cities - Dallas County sheriffs - are going to have to be on alert also,” Mata said. “We have to play the hand that’s dealt to us and we have to be ready.”

While police are taking all the preparations to respond quickly to anything in the city, the hope is that nothing will be needed.