Dallas Police Department
Award Year: 2015
Safety Category: General Safety
The Dallas (TX) Police Department’s Downed Officer Kit (DOK) program started in 2006 within department’s specialized tactical units. Each kit costs roughly $50 and includes both life-saving first aid equipment as well as personal protective equipment for when rendering aid to others.
In 2013, coinciding with the 50th anniversary commemoration of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the program was expanded to include the entire department. Since then, more than 3,500 DOKs have been issued. Every officer with public contact has been issued a DOK and trained to use these life-saving kits.
In addition to the kits, a custom training program was designed and implemented by the Dallas Police Medical Direction Team to ensure that each officer learned critical life-saving skills as they received their equipment. In February 2014, several weeks after the department-wide issuance of the kits, Dallas (TX) Police Officer Joshua Burns was shot, hitting his bulletproof vest, shoulder and leg, when a gunman opened fire on him and another officer. Officer Burns was treated on-site by his partner, who applied a tourniquet from the department-issued DOK to Burns’ leg, stemming the flow of blood from the wound. This quick and immediate application likely saved Officer Burns’ life.
Many agencies have now issued and trained on the DOK, but this program is unique because of the comprehensive training curriculum developed by Dr. Alex Eastman, a Trauma Surgeon and SWAT Lieutenant with the Dallas (TX) Police Department, and the custom instruction on the proper use of the DOK that was provided to each and every officer.