The Search is On: What Dallas Residents Want in a New Police Chief

Today, December 16th, the leading candidates for the position of Dallas police chief will be interviewed live (on television and livestreamed) by the City Council at 2pm. The finalists include internal candidates Maj. Malik Aziz, Ass. Police Chief Avery Moore and Dep. Chief Reuben Ramirez. Also considered are Director of security at the Dallas Catholic Diocese Albert Martinez, Irving Police Chief Jeff Spivey, the Police Chief of Charlottesville, VA- RaShall Brackney, and the former Police Chief of San Jose, CA, Eddie Garcia.

Chief Hall announced her resignation this September following criticism of her handling of the George Floyd protests during the summer.  

Her tenure ends this month.

The search for the next chief is again in the hands of Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax. It was he who hired Hall in 2017, after utilizing a headhunting agency, and compiling a citizen led commission to interview the finalists. We have made no secret of the fact that the head of NGAN, Dominique Alexander, was one of those on Hall’s selection committee, and that we fought tooth and nail to prevent it from happening again. It did happen again, but at this point, we expect incompetence or willful ignorance from Broadnax, so the shock was short lived.

Even under direct questioning from Dallas City Councilwoman Jennifer Gates, Asst. City Manager John Fortune refused to admit there was someone with a violent criminal history on the citizen committee. Fortune instead opted to admit there was someone from the NGAN on the committee, but because he was not Alexander himself, there was no reason to worry. We have heard rumors that the continued presence of Alexander’s proxy on the committee led to the addition of several domestic violence prevention organizations, but that has not been confirmed as of this writing.

Keep Dallas Safe and mayor Eric Johnson have questioned the transparency of the process from the beginning. We were able to obtain a copy of the job description early on. This document includes the need to understand “leadership” and “accountability.” Now, we have spent enough time in the corporate world to know these job descriptions must contain certain ‘buzzwords’ to appear legitimate, but this one is at best lazy and at worst, a preemptive way for Broadnax to weasel himself out of any future accountability.

As previously stated, KDS requested representation during the community committee portion of the selection process and were denied. We understand Johnson’s concern over “lack of transparency”, and we will not be silent about it.

Councilmember Lee Kleinman’s opinion on the process is “I’m very happy with the way this is going”. Remember, Kleinman is terming out this May, and we at KDS believe his lame duck is showing. He has no skin (sorry, feathers) in this game, and is at this point sleepwalking his way through the holidays and out the door. (And onto presumably a seat in the Texas HOR.)

The residents of Dallas have another perspective. Based on reviewing the submitted answers to the Police Chief selection questionnaire on the City of Dallas website, the top concerns are:

-Picking someone qualified

-Do not select based on race, we need someone qualified

-A candidate with experience in reducing violent crime

-Qualified

 

We think it is safe to say the consensus is this: Dallas needs a qualified police chief.

This obvious “qualification” would not need mentioning if it were not for the hiring of failed Chief U. Renee Hall by T.C. Broadnax in 2017. The citizens are BEGGING for competent leadership. Let us hope this time, the call, (unlike many to Dallas 911) is answered.

 

The event will be broadcast at the City website, YouTube, and Spectrum Channel 16 at 2pm today.  

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