DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Dallas Police Department gets new leadership on Tuesday as Renee Hall makes history as the first woman to be named as the agency’s chief. Hall replaces David Brown, who retired a year ago. Her first day on the job will likely be filled with meetings.
A city spokesperson said that Hall will meet with her staff and her officers on day one. But she has already met multiple times before with several police officers, who have shared a number of concerns. Hall has heard all about the department’s pension troubles, response times, low morale and the challenge they face with officer retention.
Since being hired a month ago, Hall has spent plenty of time in Dallas. In addition to meeting with officers, she has also talked to the Dallas Police Association multiple times to discuss the challenges that the Dallas PD faces. Hall even attended a Crimes Against Children conference here in August.
City leaders decided to bring in someone from outside of the Dallas PD to be the department’s next leader. Hall had previously spent more than 20 years with the Detroit Police Department, rising to the rank of deputy chief. Many residents in Dallas are now interested in seeing what she will bring to the role.
“I think the biggest thing is Dallas doesn’t pay their policemen enough. The turnover is too high,” said resident David Youngs.
People are hoping that Hall can bridge the gap between the police and the community. “Bringing someone in from out of town should bring some new ideas,” said Dallas resident Michael Siler. “I like the diversity, and it’s going to be interesting to have a female leading our police department.”
“Hopefully we’re going to be able to make Deep Ellum a much safer place,” Siler added.
“I think she’ll bring to the table a different level of empathy, a different level of compassion, a different level of understanding, being not from Dallas,” added resident Lincoln Stephens. “Time will tell. I have no judgment. Who is the right person to come in and rid us of all our challenges?”