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Dallas Police Hope to Speed Up Sexual Assault Reporting via Phone

The Dallas Police Department plans to speed up its sexual assault reporting process by allowing victims at hospitals to relay the offense over the phone instead of with an officer in person. Police officials told the City Council’s public safety committee on Monday about their intention to begin offering the new option in April at Parkland Health. They hope to eventually expand to other hospitals that conduct Sexual Assault Nurse Examinations. The idea, hospital and police officials said, expedites the time it takes it takes police to generate a report for a victim so nurses can then do the sexual assault exam, the Dallas Morning News reports.

In recent years, patients have had to wait up to eight hours for an officer to appear. Many leave before the exam out of frustration, which police say hinders the investigation with the lack of critical evidence. Through the new option, if a patient chooses to report the sexual assault, nurses will help them connect with a police expeditor over the phone. Part of the appeal of phone reports is that younger generations communicate differently and can feel more at ease speaking over the phone than addressing something in person. In addition, the department is predominantly made up of male officers, and female patients at times aren’t comfortable reporting the offense to them.


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