Challenges Face Dallas Police Chief Returning From Medical Leave

Hall to return on Monday

Dallas Police Chief U. Renee Hall returns from more than a month of medical leave Monday with a new set of challenges at headquarters.

Her absence to recover from surgery was announced days after it began on July 10. Hall officially began her new job as Dallas Chief in September of 2017, coming from Detroit.

Latino leader Hector Flores said his community has big expectations after getting off to a rough start with Hall.

Flores said he and other Latino leaders tried to talk with Hall about what they believe is a lack of sufficient bilingual command staff and officers in Dallas.

"She felt like we were bullying her. In fact she made those statements that, 'You're not going to bully.' Well, you need to understand the demographics of our community. This is not Detroit. Our Hispanic community is huge. We're the largest group in town," Flores said.

Hall also faces ongoing challenge with rising violent crime this year.

In June, she welcomed the use of Texas DPS Troopers to supplement the understaffed Dallas Police Department this summer. During her leave, African American community leaders demonstrated against DPS Southern Dallas traffic stops and Saturday's DPS shooting death of a suspect.

Community leaders released balloons on Friday in their call for a "Week of Peace" after a 9-year-old girl was murdered in her own apartment by a suspect who was apparently looking for someone else. But the killing continued this week.

Monday Mayor Eric Johnson announced a citizen task force to seek solutions on violent crime.

"The Mayor is calling the community out as well, because it's never been just a police problem," said Terrance Hopkins, President of the Black Police Association of Greater Dallas.

Hopkins said Dallas Police Officers need to get behind Hall as she returns.

"Our job is to work with the chief to progress this department forward," Hopkins said.

In June, the Dallas Chapter of the National Latino Law Enforcement Organization called for Hall's replacement.

Dallas Police Association President Mike Mata, the leader of the largest police union, said his organization is not calling for Hall to leave. But Mata said his members have many unanswered questions about the direction of their department.

"We need leadership from Chief Hall and the command staff. How are we going to address this increase in violent crime," Mata said. "And if that leadership isn't present, that leadership is not given to us and the citizens, then we're in for a rough go."

Flores said he hopes Hall returns with a new approach to violent crime and the Latino community.

"We wish her the best. We want her to be successful because if she is not successful, that means the City of Dallas is not successful," Flores said.

Hall's boss, City Manager T.C. Broadnax, said in a statement Wednesday that he is urging Hall to take it slow as she returns Monday before getting back to full speed.

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