New Dallas Police Chief: ‘There Will Be Change’

DALLAS (CBS11) – Dallas’ new police chief U. Renee Hall says a top-to-bottom review is underway inside the department.

“There will be change in the police department. I don’t think you hired me from the outside to keep status quo,” said Chief Hall.

 New Dallas Police Chief: There Will Be Change

(credit: Jack Fink/CBS11)

Chief Hall addressed the Dallas City Council’s Public Safety Committee for the first time Monday.

She told them, and reporters afterwards, that she knows she has a lot on her plate.

The department has the fewest number of officers it has had in ten years, 3,051.

Statistics show 441 officers have the left Dallas Police Department since October 1, 2016.

In addition, officer response times to crime scenes are increasing.

As a result, the Chief says she’s looking at everything.

“We talked about change,” said Chief Hall. “Do we have the proper number of officers allocated to patrol? Do we need to look at investigations and support services and see where those officers need to come from?”

Records show between January 1 and August 31 of this year, violent crime rose by three percent from 2016 — driven by rising aggravated assaults and business robberies which were up 18 percent and 15 percent respectively from the year before.

Chief Hall said, “What the community can rest assured, we will be cracking down on a number of issues throughout the south end, south central, southeast and where we’re actually seeing an increase in aggravated assaults, our robberies in our businesses.”

She wouldn’t elaborate on the new, innovative approaches she says the department is taking.

The chief also wants to empower the community, by creating citizen advisory boards. They’re not only for those who love the department she said, but for those who aren’t so enamored.

“There’s been issues with demeanor or service or just how we operate as a police department and we want to know what that concern is. Reach back out and what can we do differently. Some of these concerns are valid, and if they are, let’s address them.”

She told council members that during a job fair last week, the department attracted 81 applicants from states such as California and Michigan.

Of those, only 37 passed their background checks.

Chief Hall also announced that the former interim Chief David Pughes, will be her Assistant Chief, because she says, “he is good at what he does.”

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