ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) - Fifteen Arlington police officers were placed on leave while the department investigated whether the officers lied about making traffic stops on official police reports. Sources say the officers used computers in their car to make it appear they were making traffic stops when they were not.
Pete Schulte, a former police officer who is now an attorney said entering false information would be easy to do for an officer. "A random license plate, not do a thing and then clear," he said. "Actually documented as a traffic stop -- activity on a shift."
And that's what sources say the 15 Arlington patrol officers were doing, using their onboard computers to show they made a traffic stop when no actual stops were made. Sources tell us the officers likely falsified the reports to boost their performance records. A routine, random internal audit turned up the discrepancy in the records, a police spokesperson said.
All 15 officers were placed on leave. Police sources say there were only a handful of bad reports written by each officer, but the department takes the matter very seriously.
Police Chief Will Johnson released a statement stating in part, "These allegations are serious and represent conduct that is not consistent with departmental expectations. I expect Arlington officers to perform their duties with the highest degree of personal integrity."
Chief Johnson also stated the investigation is ongoing.
"Our police chief is handling it," said Mayor Jeff Williams. "Our police department is one of the best in the country. I have complete confidence in them as they deliberate. It's early."
The department said the district attorney's office has been notified and will decide if criminal charges should be filed.
"It affects the department's image if these allegations are true," Schulte said. "The fundamental basis for a police officer is to be honest throughout life. This will affect the image that people are going to have of Arlington P.D."
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