Big Promises From New Dallas Police Chief

First City Council meeting for new chief

New Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall made big promises Monday at her first Dallas City Council meeting since arriving on the job from Detroit.

Hall said a top-to-bottom review of the Dallas Police Department is underway to help combat a spike in violent crime this year.

The rise is led by aggravated assault, which includes gang related drive-by shootings.

"We're creating ways in order to deal with it," Hall said. "Dallas was not stagnant. They were actually dealing with it. But, we have new innovative ways to approach it and hit it a little bit harder so we can reduce these numbers."

Hall said she would not detail the "innovative ways," because she does not want the bad guys to know what they are.

But she said a review on the use of police manpower is underway with the force about 500 officers smaller than several years ago.

"I don't think you hired me from the outside to keep status quo," Hall said. "We have make sure that we are moving in the 21st century and doing things that are much more efficient and effective."

Hall also promised an open-door policy to the police department for critics with expanded civilian review panels at the headquarters level and each of the substations.

"Some of these concerns are valid, and if they are, let's address them and bring those individuals to work alongside of us as we correct our behavior, and we can work better as a community," Hall said.

Her promises won support from City Council members Monday and also from a leader of the city's largest police union.

"If this is giving the community a voice to ask questions and get answers, I'm all for that," said Sgt. Mike Mata, president of the Dallas Police Association.

He also supported reorganization of police officer manpower.

"We have resources that are misaligned," Mata said.

Hall is wearing civilian clothes because has not yet passed the exam for a Texas Peace Officer License.

"I'm studying," Hall said.

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