DALLAS (CBS11) – More than eight months after Dallas Police Chief David Brown retired, the city is about to be a step closer to naming his replacement.
On Monday, City Manager T.C. Broadnax told CBS11, he will meet with the city’s recruiter this week to discuss finalists for the job.
“We are narrowing down the applicant pool to get to some finalists, at least four or five, hopefully, by the end of this week. We have done a national search so there will definitely be people from out of the area. I hear there may be some internal candidates interested as well, we’ll see how they fare,” said Braodmax.
The interim police chief, David Pughes, has said since October when he assumed the job, that he’s not interested in becoming chief full-time.
Broadnax said during the week of July 10, community groups and council members will be able to interview the finalists for the job.
He said he hopes to announce the new chief ten to 14 days after that, and wants him or her to start by late August or early September.
CBS11 asked council members if the new chief should be promoted from within the Dallas Police Department or come from the outside.
Dwaine Caraway, who is returning to City Council District 4 after a two year break because of term limits and is now Mayor Pro-Tem, said he’s looking for the best chief possible.
“I do believe that we have qualified people here already. But that doesn’t negate the fact that we should look beyond,” said Caraway.
Another councilman who has returned to the horseshoe is Tennell Atkins in District 8.
He said, “Knowing the community is a big thing. That’s the number one priority.”
But he said he is still open to a new chief coming from outside the department as long as they take the time to get to know the city and understand community policing.
Mayor Mike Rawlings said where the new chief is from is secondary. “For me, it’s more the quality of leadership vs. their background. They need to be experienced, there’s no question. But we face some serious issues. We need to staff up, we need to recruit the right individuals. We have to continue our community policing.”
A Dallas Police Department spokesman says as of June 13, the city had 3,146 sworn officers.
That’s hundreds of fewer officers than budgeted, after a crisis with the police and fire pension fund led many to retire or go to other departments.
The Mayor said the new chief will also have to oversee improvements at the 911 communications center after low staffing and technological issues led to emergency calls not being answered quickly or getting through at all earlier this year.
The City Manager agrees with the Mayor the candidate’s ability to lead is a top priority.
“Someone who has impeccable credibility, integrity, and someone who understands law enforcement, particularly the changing environment law enforcement is undergoing, who can be a voice for not only the people in blue, but also understands the perspective of people who live throughout our city,” said Broadnax.