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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – David Brown, the Chief of the Dallas Police Department, has announced that he is retiring.

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On the Dallas Police Department blog page the Chief said he made the announcement “after much prayer.”

Brown has served with the DPD for 33 years and said that, “Serving the citizens of Dallas in this noble profession has been both a true honor and a humbling experience.”

After reflecting on his career with the department Brown included as part of his announcement the following brief statement about the police officer ambush that happened downtown –

“Let’s always remember the fallen officers including the five officers on July 7, 2016, and the brave men and women of the Dallas Police Department for their sacrifices to keep Dallas safe.  Their memory will remain with all of us forever.  I know the people of Dallas will never forget the ultimate sacrifice they made on the streets of our city that awful night.”

Saying that it was a “difficult decision” to come to, Chief Brown thanked his family for their support.

The Chief ended the letter saying, “Thank you Dallas and God bless!” and said he would hold a press conference on September 8 when he returns to work.

At a news conference Thursday afternoon, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said while many others may be surprised, he was not. “The chief had been talking to A.C. (city manager A.C. Gonzalez) for some time about being on the last laps of his career. So it wasn’t a total surprise. We wanted to pace this out and do this in the right way. July 7th happened and we kind of forgot about that. He told me once he started talking about it with his wife, and praying about it, he decided this fall would be a good time to leave,” said Rawlings.

The mayor praised Brown for being the longest serving chief in city history, and for achieving the city’s largest reduction in crime during his six years heading the department. “Under his leadership, we have also done it the right away. Reducing deadly force dramatically. Issuing body cameras for 1000 officers. Community policing efforts that serve as really a national model.”

Brown’s announcement comes amid another battle with police associations — this time about his plans for raises and new hires. But Ron Pinkston, President of the Dallas Police Association commended the chief for his service and dedication.

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“While the Dallas Police Association has had policy disagreements with Chief Brown, we’ve always respected his commitment to protecting the families of our city. We will always be grateful for his strong leadership that inspired the men and women under his command after July 7th,” said Pinkston.

Mayor Rawlings said Chief Brown is spending time golfing in Austin with his wife and that he said he wants to do more of that.

The Dallas City Manager’s office announced that Assistant Chief David Pughes will serve as Interim Police Chief as the search for a new Chief commences. Pughes joined the Dallas Police Department in 1983 and has since served as patrol officer, an investigator, deputy chief and first assistant chief of operations.

Thursday afternoon Governor Greg Abbott issued the following statement on Chief Brown’s retirement:

“Over the past three decades, Chief Brown has been dedicated to preserving the safety of others,” said Governor Abbott. “At no time was his exemplary leadership more evident than in the aftermath of the heinous shooting of law enforcement officers this July in Dallas. Thanks to his unwavering commitment to protecting his community, Dallas has emerged even stronger, and on behalf of the entire State of Texas, Cecilia and I thank him for his service.”

Republican U.S. Congressman Pete Sessions of Texas issued the following statement:

“For the past 33 year, Chief Brown has bravely served and selflessly committed his life to protecting the great people of Dallas, Texas. In the face of terror and horrific events he was a fearless leader who served as a voice of reason as well as a symbol of the strength and unity of our community. I am sincerely thankful for his unwavering service and dedication to our community, state, and nation.”

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas issued this statement:

“Chief David Brown brought the City of Dallas together when the forces of hate were trying to tear it apart. His leadership and devotion to duty were on full display during the trying hours, days, and weeks following the murder of law enforcement officers in Dallas. During this time, the nation witnessed the integrity of a man who had been serving the City of Dallas with honor in this post for the past eight years. Heidi and I wish Chief Brown the best in his retirement, and on behalf of all Texans we thank him for his service to our state and to our community.”

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