Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall submitted to her resignation letter Tuesday and agreed to stay with the department through the end of the year to give the city time to find her replacement.
Community leaders on Wednesday voiced their hopes for the city’s next top cop.
Next Generation Action Network stood outside Dallas police headquarters and addressed Hall’s upcoming departure.
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“Chief Hall inherited a mess,” Dominique Alexander said.
The group defended Dallas’ first Black female chief of police who is leaving after losing confidence from top city leaders amid increasing violent crime, social unrest and calls for defunding Dallas police.
NextGen instead pointed to Hall’s positive impact on the city.
“When someone wanted to make a complaint, they were given this blank sheet of paper,” said Alexander, holding up two sheets of paper.
Hall implemented an online reporting system that allows the public to report any negative interactions with officers.
“Hopefully the next police chief will pick up that mantle and move even further toward police reform,” said Kim Cole, attorney and chief counsel for NextGen.
Opinions vary among community leaders when it comes to who should lead the department next.
“I would really like to see a Latino or Latina considered,” said Rene Martinez, local president of LULAC.
Martinez pointed to the city’s 41% Hispanic population and added the search should begin within Dallas police or Dallas-Fort Worth first.
“Someone who knows how to get the morale of the police force back to a very positive one,” he said. “Someone who deals with diverse communities and I think we can find someone like that.”
Gary Griffith is the chairman of Safer Dallas, Better Dallas.
The group has provided support to the Dallas Police Department with any needs not met by the city council for 15 years.
“We had a great working relationship with her at Safer Dallas,” Griffith said. “We enjoyed our relationship with her, but I think it became rocky in the past few months with the council and it was one of those things that it was in everyone’s benefit to move on.”
Griffith credited Hall for major initiatives like the Starlight Project to curb crime and Hall’s summer youth program.
Asked what qualities he would like to see in the department's next leader, Griffith said, “We need a leader that can connect with the men and women in the department. We need a cop’s cop. We need someone to continue putting reforms in place that Chief Hall has started.”
He added the need for someone with good communication and political skills with a plan to address violent crime and property crime in the city.
Cole said she’d like to see an outsider, like Chief Hall once was.
“I would definitely prefer an outsider who has not, I would say, been ingrained in this indoctrination here at DPD. I would also like to see someone who is progressive in regards to police reform,” she said. “I’d like to see a chief who is amenable to allowing some of the funds that are currently set for DPD to be reallocated for community programs which will result in a reduction in crime.”