DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Dallas Police Department’s new leader made good on a promise Thursday morning. Chief Renee Hall announced a department reorganization plan that is expected to put more resources in the field and improve upon the quality of police response.
“What we were looking for was 21st Century policing initiatives,” Hall explained during a Thursday morning news conference to discuss the plan. “We brought in individuals from city government, other law enforcement professionals, fire executives to assist us in this process.”
The reorganization includes some key demotions. The department currently has nine assistant chiefs and 13 deputy chiefs, but that will change. Under the new plan, those numbers will be lowered to three assistant chiefs and seven deputy chiefs. There will still be 15 majors.
“This department was very top heavy,” Hall said, “and we had to make some tough decisions.”
Also, the department’s seven patrol districts will be reset into four sectors based on geography — central, south, east and west. “Criminals don’t conform to our geographical enforcement boundaries, and we need a flexible structure to put officers where and when they are needed,” Hall said in a Thursday morning written statement.
Each sector will be headed up by a deputy chief and two majors. The goal here is to give the majors a larger field presence with patrol officers, lieutenants and sergeants. “I want the citizens of Dallas to see a much more engaged police force,” said Hall in her written statement.
Hall continued, “This change will help leadership in the management of citizen calls, and it will focus resources where crimes are being committed. We want to improve efficiency and provide high quality service to every Dallas citizen.”
The plan goes into effect on December 13.
In the written statement, Dallas city manager T.C. Broadnax added, “The new structure will deploy and maximize resources to make our city safer and more responsive to the needs of the community. I appreciate Chief Hall’s thoughtful and thorough process to move the department forward.”
The Dallas Police Association released a statement regarding the decision by Chief Hall:
“The rank and file officers are disappointed in several of the demotions announced by Chief Hall. While the Dallas Police Association agrees the command staff needed to be reduced, several officers she demoted are among the most dedicated crime fighters in the department. Our concern is that the absence of these respected commanders will add to the plummeting morale in the Dallas Police Department and increase the exodus of officers.
We look forward to meeting with Chief Hall so we can better understand her decision. It’s vital that the leaders of the Dallas Police Department understand that important decisions should be made with the input of the men and women who understand firsthand what it takes to protect our community.”