Dallas police chief opening draws 36 candidates; finalists will be announced soon

In the national search for a new police chief in Dallas, 36 people applied to fill the post of U. Reneé Hall after she announced that she would seek other opportunities.

In another week, the finalists will be interviewed and reviewed by six different community groups. And by the end of the month, the new head of Dallas should be decided.

A search company hired to help with the process has started screening applicants and a list of finalists should be announced soon, although no date has been given. This emerges from a memo from City Manager TC Broadnax, who will ultimately choose Hall’s successor when she leaves on December 31st.

The national search began shortly after Hall announced in September that she was stepping down after receiving inquiries about “future career opportunities.” Their decision followed the aftermath of the city’s summer protests and increasing crime. She started as a boss on September 5, 2017.

Although the final decision on the next boss rests with Broadnax, the search firm asked Mayor Eric Johnson and the 14 councilors what qualities and traits they wanted to see in the new guide. The council is also invited to put questions to the finalists. The company also relied on responses from a survey that was answered by more than 4,500 people.

The mayor recently outlined his priorities for the new boss and, during his speech on the state of the city on Tuesday, reiterated that he was unhappy with the rise in crime and wanted someone to take responsibility for it.

“We need more robust law enforcement strategies,” Johnson said in his speech at Fair Park in south Dallas. “The violent crime reduction plan I asked for last year just didn’t work. … I assume that anyone who becomes the next police chief is accountable to you and will work with you to make our city safer. “

A survey was conducted in English and Spanish in November to identify the community’s priorities.

About 4,500 people, most of whom said they were Dallas residents, put great emphasis on reducing crime, holding officials accountable, and building trust in the community.

The next boss will take over the ninth largest police department in the US, a force of about 3,100 officers. According to police statistics, Dallas has had 227 murders so far this year, up from 191 in the same period last year.

Broadnax said he is looking for someone from a medium to large department with experience in either a police chief or other high-level command position, someone who can reduce crime and solve police accountability problems.

“It won’t be an easy time to take the lead,” Broadnax told the Dallas Morning News in a November interview. “And I think anyone who applies for this position is very much aware of the difficulties not only with law enforcement but also with law enforcement in big cities.”

The search company analyzed the results of the survey and found that 70% of the respondents were identified as white. Additional contributions came from postcodes in the northern sector, with most saying they had a high level of confidence in the department. The company found that Spanish and Black respondents were underrepresented in the survey, despite making up a large percentage of the population (41.7% and 24.3%, respectively) according to 2019 census data.

It is likely that the list of finalists will be published later this week. Broadnax will begin the first phase of the interview process on Monday. It will contain six panels. The people selected to participate are business and religious leaders, activists, police unions and city executives.

The next monthly briefing on the search process is scheduled for Monday, when members of the search firm are expected to answer questions from the city’s public safety committee.

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