Police Officer Michael Horton and Captain Jack R. Bragg Jr. who eventually formed The Dallas Underwater Recovery Team (D.U.R.T.) started diving on a case by case basis for the Dallas Police Department in the middle 1990’s. In 2008 Chief of Police David Kunkle assigned Captain Jack R. Bragg Jr. as the dive team commander and the unit received official recognition. Initially the unit was under the organization of the Crime Scene Response Section in the Investigations Bureau. Captain Jack was also the commander of Crime Scene Response Section.
In January of 2013 the Dallas Underwater Recovery Unit was moved to the Field Services Division of the Strategic Deployment Bureau and is funded from the SWAT org.
Team members are regular police officers who volunteer for these additional duties. The volunteers come to the Dallas Underwater Recovery Team with their own basic dive equipment and must meet the standards of the International Association of Nitrox and Technical Divers requirements to be trained as a Public Safety Divers. That standard is a rescue level diver certified by PADI, NAUI or another equal certifying body, i.e. United States Navy. That means most applicants have minimally 60 plus open water dives prior to applying for the Dallas Underwater Recovery Team training.