One of Texas’ largest police unions called Wednesday for the removal of Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot, who has announced plans not to prosecute certain low-level crimes, reports the Dallas Morning News. Austin police Sgt. Todd Harrison, president of the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas, said Creuzot’s plan was “unacceptable.” Harrison added, “When he was campaigning for the office, we don’t remember not prosecuting crime as part of his platform.” Creuzot, a Democrat who took the post in January, said his office would no longer prosecute most first-time marijuana offenses and theft of personal items worth less than $750, unless the theft was for financial gain.
The district attorney also intends to curb excessive bail and probation periods. Creuzot said his new policy not to prosecute thefts of personal items under $750 was based on research that shows that people who steal necessities like food or diapers “do so out of hunger and poverty.” That message didn’t sway local police union leaders. who said decriminalization of lower-level theft cases will kill small businesses. Sgt. George Aranda, a Dallas police officer and president of the Greater Dallas chapter of the National Latino Law Enforcement Organization, said he was disappointed that Creuzot “has opened up many windows to allow the common criminal to feast on the business retail community.” Aranda said, “We want to know the why. Why was this done without consulting with your local law enforcement officials?” Creuzot said he had met with police officials before announcing the plan and had asked Dallas city leaders to come up with a plan. He said he didn’t get a response and decided to act.