The next chief of the Dallas Police Department is unlike any other in the city's history. Detroit Deputy Police Chief Renee Hall will become the first woman to lead the Dallas police force.
Hall has climbed the ranks in Detroit for nearly 20 years, and her experience there mirrors what she will face in Dallas.
"I am honored. I feel so privileged and blessed to be given the opportunity to be the next Dallas police chief," Hall said.
She spoke exclusively Wednesday with NBC 5 Senior Investigative Reporter Scott Friedman about her plans to stop the mass exodus of Dallas police officers and her plans to aggressively reduce crime in Dallas.
"What I've learned from being in the city of Detroit, as you know the city of Detroit went through bankruptcy, we went through pension reform, pay cuts for the officers — they even had holidays taken away, and morale was very low. We did have mass exodus, much like Dallas had, but when we got down to talking to the officers, officers don't necessarily leave just about money. It's not always monetary. They just need to have an environment where they have unwavering support from their leaders, creating an environment of excitement," Hall said.
Friedman asked whether Hall thinks she can bring the crime rate down in Dallas within one or two years.
"I believe I can. Here's what I know. I have proven success here in the city of Detroit. Since obtaining the rank of deputy chief, we've seen tremendous decreases in crime in the city. The first year-and-a-half we experienced a 40-year low in homicides," she said.
In 1971, when she was just 6-months-old, Hall's father — a Detroit police officer — was killed in the line of duty. Friedman asked how the loss of your father impacted not only her life but also her career in law enforcement.
"I think it's made me extremely passionate about getting the bad guy. I know what it's like to grow up without a parent who died at the hands of a violent crime. And I know what the citizens feel when their loved one has been taken away from them. So it's important for me to make sure that those individual are brought to justice so there's closure in their lives. Because I never received that closure," she said.
Fellow Detroit police officers said Hall is a workaholic, and that's a label to which she admits. She loves her job and is passionate about it.
Among the objectives Hall will work to implement in Dallas include having officers more involved in the community. She has new recruits in Detroit do service projects, feeding the homeless and working with teens, because she says officers can't police a community they don't know and understand.
And she will aggressively try to rebuild trust between officers and Dallas police management. She talked Wednesday about the need for a healing process with the rank-and-file.
Hall's first day on the job in Dallas is set for Sept 5.