The Dallas Police Department's second-in-command, First Assistant Chief David Brown, has been promoted to the department's new chief.
Several sources connected to the Dallas Police Department said Tuesday that Brown would be the new chief, but City Manager Mary Suhm denied she had made a decision.
But Suhm announced the decision on the city's Facebook page on Wednesday morning. (Find that page here)
Brown, an Oak Cliff native, joined the Dallas Police Department 27 years ago. He has spent the past five years in the department's No. 2 job, working directly under Chief David Kunkle, who retires Friday.
"I am very pleased to accept the appointment to Chief of Police," Brown said in his acceptance letter Wednesday. "I appreciate your faith in my ability to carry out this assignment and assure you that the citizens of Dallas will have my full attention, energy, and commitment in continuing reduction of crime in our community, in providing leadership to the exceptional group of officers that serve the City of Dallas, and in maintaining the high regard in which this department is held nationally."
Colleagues describe Brown as stern and uncompromising, something Brown attributed in an interview last month as part of the secret to his success.
“I've served as second-in-command during the most successful time the department has experienced,“ he said. “Those qualities make me the best candidate for the job.”
Overall crime in Dallas has reached a historic low.
Suhm took input over the past several months from the public, City Council members and police union leaders.
“There’s not been a lot of racial tones or requests,” said Councilman Dwaine Caraway, chairman of the City Council Public Safety Committee. “Let’s get the best person for the job, regardless of race or ethnicity.”
Caraway said city leaders have big expectations for a new chief to continue the Dallas crime reduction trends started under outgoing Chief David Kunkle.
“We’re on a momentum roll to where crime is going down, (and) folks are beginning to put their trust once again in the police department,” Caraway said. “The morale is up with police officers, and great things are beginning to happen. But we still have a lot of work to do.”
But the head of the city's largest police union made it clear Brown wasn't his choice for chief.
"I think the Dallas Police Department could have done a lot better,” said Glenn White, president of the Dallas Police Association. “We had an opportunity to draft No. 1, and, by selecting David Brown -- unless he proves something very different to the Dallas Police Association -- we drafted No. 3 or No. 4.”
White, a senior corporal, said he worked under Brown at Northeast Patrol. He said Brown set up a reward program that gave new squad cars to officers who wrote the most tickets and made the most arrests.
“Right now, people don't have money to pay tickets, and you are going to reward people if you scratch someone five or six tickets.
That’s ridiculous," he said.
Hundreds of additional officers added to the Dallas force the past few years helped Kunkle make progress. But with more city budget problems on the horizon, the new chief may not have such luxuries.
White said the Dallas Police Association expects that public safety will a target of the budget ax this time around.
“I think we as police officers are probably going to be asked to give some things up, things that over the last four or five years, we’ve worked very, very hard to get,” White said.
Other candidates for the job of Dallas' top cop included Dallas Assistant Chiefs Floyd Simpson and Daniel Garcia; San Jose, Calif., Chief Robert Davis; and Louisville, Ky., Metro Police Chief Robert White.
The field of candidates narrowed to five Tuesday when Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo withdrew as a candidate so that he could remain in the state capitol.
He told reporters that he called Suhm and withdrew his name for consideration on Tuesday afternoon.
Acevedo told reporters he decided to stay in Austin after an overwhelming response from the community there during his candidacy for the Dallas job.
“I think there’s still work to be done,” he said.
White said Acevedo was one of his two favorites from the original field of six candidates.
When Suhm visited Austin a few weeks ago, Acevedo said he would stay in Austin for at least another six years if he was not hired in Dallas.
NBC DFW's Shane Allen and Greg Janda contributed to this report.