DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas Police officers are offering emotional support to Chief Renee Hall after the police department’s announcement Wednesday night that she would be taking a medical leave of absence.

Department officials say Chief Hall is recuperating at home following major surgery.

Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall (City of Dallas)

The statement released Wednesday alluded to a wellness check in January that allowed this procedure to be scheduled in July.

There’s no timetable for the scheduled for a return from the leave of absence.

Chief Hall has been on the job for almost 2 years.

This is the first time in at least decades, maybe ever, that the city’s police chief has needed a medical leave of absence.

Her first Assistant Chief David Pughes will be running the department while she is out.

Dallas Police Asst. Chief David Pughes (credit: CBSDFW.COM)

Pughes served as interim chief during the gap between David Brown’s retirement and Hall’s hiring.

Medical leave is benefit offered to every employee whether they work in the public or private sector.

Employment law attorney Brandi McKay says it’s not unusual for the reasons and details behind a person’s decision to remain confidential.

“Based on what I understand about her situation, it seems pretty typical,” said McKay.  “It’s not uncommon for the employer not to release any details about the reason why an employee would be on leave. She obviously has a right to her medical privacy, so those details are probably never going to come out.”

It’s not clear if the chief is taking unpaid medical leave or using sick days or short term disability to cover the time off.

Her mother died last year after a long battle with health issues.

In the department’s statement, the chief expressed appreciation for the public’s concern and well wishes:

     “She wants her officers and the community to know that she appreciates their concerns and well wishes as she recuperates.”