The Dallas Examiner
“Dallas was always prepared for me. God was just preparing me for Dallas,” said Police Chief U. Renee Hall Sept. 25 as she stood in front of a packed welcoming crowd of local citizens and city officials at the Moody Performance Hall.
The public gathered to welcome the first African American female police chief in the city’s history during a celebratory meet and greet event along with several other prominent leaders.
“I believe Chief Hall has the ability to bring people that historically have not felt part of the city connected to the police department (and) bring them into the fold and having us work together more collectively,” said City Manager T.C. Broadnax.
The new chief brings an extensive resume as a former deputy chief with the Detroit Police Department for two decades, leading the city to a 40-year-low in homicides and double-digit violent crime reduction for three years.
On July 23, Hall was selected as the first woman to hold the position in the department’s 136-year history. She commenced work Sept. 5.
“It was not difficult,” Broadnax declared as he discussed his selection process for police chief. “She stood out from the first time I had a chance to speak with her, and she carried that out through the entire process.”
The former Detroit deputy received high praise from her colleagues and residents as well as city councilmembers for her experience and expertise throughout the entire event.
“She is not the just the African American chief of police; She is the chief of police,” asserted Dwaine Caraway, District 4 city councilman and mayor pro tem, placing emphasis on her proficiency and qualifications rather than her race and gender.
During the event, Hall was gifted with a pendant by the North Texas Crime Commission decorated with two slogans: “Fighting crime is everybody’s business,” and “The first function of government is to protect and safeguard the lives and properties of its citizens.”
“We give you this as a token of friendship and welcome you to Dallas,” said NTCC chairman David Dean.
As the new chief, she will have to tackle several issues surrounding the city, such as the pension issue, police staffing and building a relationship between the community and the police department within an intense political climate.
Hall stated that she plans to establish community service boards and neighborhood patrols and collaborate with local schools and business during the first few months of her tenure.
“We have a long road ahead of us,” she said as she addressed the police officers in the audience. “We have a community to engage, crime to fight, and youth to engage. We have a lot of work, so we have to operate in the spirit of excellence. So, I ask you to strap on your gear because we have a long, hard ride ahead of us, but I know that by looking around this room that we have a community that is equally committed to us as we are to them.”