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Could Deputy Dhaliwal's murder have been prevented?

State Sen. John Whitmire wants to create a task force to keep track of people who violate parole.

HOUSTON — The murder of Harris County Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal brought heartache, questions and calls for change.

“No one is being held accountable,” said State Senator John Whitmire (D), Houston.

Whitmire chairs the criminal justice committee. He said there’s not one single agency responsible for finding people like Dhaliwal’s accused killer Robert Solis, who skipped out on his parole.

“The problem is we don’t really have a designated task force, and I’m going to make sure we do," he said.

Solis’ ex-girlfriend Melissa Purtee told us she tried to warn authorities.

“All of this could have been prevented had somebody done their job the right way,” she told us in an interview earlier this week.

KHOU 11 obtained one of her calls to the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s office from July.

“My kids' father, he has skipped out on parole, he’s not checking in for over two years now and it was a violent crime he was originally arrested for,” Purtee told the dispatcher.

But when pressed for more details… 

Dispatch: "...and what is the address where he is at?" 

Purtee: "I don’t know the exact address. Like I said I know he's in Mission Bend subdivision and I know the name of the person he's with.”

Purtee also claims she called parole officers, but the Texas Department of Criminal Justice says it has no record of her calls.

Even if it did, the best they could do is pass them on to local law enforcement.

“It’s actually in state law that parole officers can not be law enforcement officers,” said Jeremy Desel, TDCJ spokesman.

But Desel said improving communication with police agencies is always a work in progress. 

“There are certainly ways we can be more proactive, and we are looking at ways we can even by jurisdiction or by zip code," he said.

This task force Senator Whitmire suggested could happen before the next legislative session. He pointed to the state's human trafficking task force run out of the attorney general's office. Whitmire says it was created without passing a law.


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