Dallas Police Chief U. Renee Hall returns to work Monday after spending more than a month on medical leave, recovering from what has been described as major surgery.
Although Hall has been medically cleared to return to work by her doctor, her activities and public appearances will be limited for the next few weeks, according to the department.
Hall, who is the first woman to lead the Dallas Police Department in its 136-year history, will return to work at a critical time. Violent crime is up 18% in the city in 2019, including a 26% increase in homicides – there have been more than 140 murders so far this year. [[558306012,C]]
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Earlier this summer, after the deadliest month in Dallas in decades – there were 40 murders in June - Gov. Greg Abbott ordered the Department of Public Safety to deploy State Troopers to help patrol certain high-crime areas of southern Dallas. That effort has resulted in more than 1,000 arrests, the shooting death of an armed suspect earlier this month, and complaints from some members of the community that the State Troopers are primarily conducting minority-targeted traffic stops.
Last week, new Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson created the Mayor’s Task Force on Safe Communities, as an alternative to policing, in an effort to combat crime.
The Task Force, which met for the first time last Friday, will seek community input and delve into data to help come up with solutions.
"The data isn't going to tell us if we have a problem, we know we have a problem the data is going to help us in terms of coming up with solutions," said Rene Martinez, one of the task force's three co-chairs.