DALLAS (CBS11) – A variety of CBS11 viewers have asked us why Dallas Police Chief U. Renee Hall isn’t wearing a police uniform four months after she started her job.
The Chief isn’t allowed to until she passes the state certification exam, the same test every peace officer in Texas must pass to receive his or her license.
Chief Hall told CBS11 she’s studying to take the state certification exam, but hasn’t scheduled a date to take it just yet. “I’m doing that as quickly as I can while I’m running this city and police department.”
Just before Thanksgiving, the city of Dallas issued a news release about the issue saying in part, “Chief Hall recently received approval from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement or TCOLE to take the Texas Peace officers certification exam, and is on track to do so by the end of the year.”
CBS11 checked this week with TCOLE, the state’s police licensing agency, and a spokeswoman told us Chief Hall has completed one of two courses that are required before she can receive approval to take the certification exam.
The agency spokeswoman said Chief Hall successfully completed the TCOLE Rules Overview, which gets them familiar with administration rules and where to look for information.
She must still complete the Texas Supplemental Peace Officer course, which is for officers who move from other states, former members of the military or federal agents so they can learn about Texas procedures and laws..
Once Chief Hall gets that approval, she will have three attempts to pass the exam with a grade of at least 70.
She must do so within 180 days.
Chief Hall told CBS11, “You guys will be the first to know when I take the exam.”
The President of the Dallas Police Association, Sgt. Mike Mata, said he’s sure Chief Hall will do very well on the test once she takes it. “Obviously, she’s very busy. She’s here answering questions here. But I think we do need to see our leader in what we wear, our uniform.”
The TCOLE spokeswoman told us until Chief Hall passes the exam, she can’t operate as a police officer, including making an arrest.
She is considered a “civilian chief administrator.”
TCOLE says she must pass the test before her one year anniversary date, which is September 5th.