Three internal candidates are among the eight finalists for Dallas police chief announced Wednesday.
Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax will select the new chief.
"This is probably one of the biggest decisions I’ll have to make as city manager, one of the most important ones," Broadnax said.
The candidates include the following, in alphabetical order:
- Malik Aziz, Deputy Chief, Dallas Police Department
- Carmen Best, Deputy Chief, Seattle Police Department
- Steven Dye, Chief, Grand Prairie Police Department
- U. Renee Hall, Deputy Chief, Detroit Police Department
- Michel Moore, First Assistant Chief, Los Angeles Police Department
- Luther Reynolds, Assistant Chief, Montgomery County (Maryland) Police Department
- Gary Tittle, Assistant Chief, Dallas Police Department
- Rick Watson, Deputy Chief, Dallas Police Department
Broadnax said interviews will be conducted over three days in July. Citizens, community leaders and city officials will participate in the process and provide advice before the manager makes the final decision.
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A citizen meet-and-greet session with the candidates is scheduled for Tuesday, July 11, at Dallas City Hall from 6 to 8 p.m. on the second-floor foyer.
"I think the process hopefully will be beneficial to the applicants. They’ll get a chance to tell their story, to tell why they want to be chief in the city of Dallas. And we’ll get a chance to assess their talents through that process," Broadnax said. "I'm excited about this opportunity."
Advice was already available for the manager Wednesday.
"I feel we need someone who knows the community, knows what’s going on inside the city of Dallas," said City Councilman Tennell Atkins.
Councilman Lee Kleinman said Dallas needs the best person for the job and he has worked with insiders Watson and Tittle. But Kleinman said an outsider might have advantages setting the department on a better path.
"They don't really come in with that history and come in fresh and can develop that relationship of trust and that relationship of structure that I think this department really needs," Kleinman said.
The selection comes with the Dallas police force shrinking because of pay and benefit complaints at the same time as violent crime is edging higher.
Dallas Black Police Association leader Thomas Glover said an insider should be selected, and he said Aziz has strong support.
"We can't afford to have someone in office waiting to learn. We need someone on day one who can walk in and do the job," Glover said. "This decision will make or break 3,000-plus officers in their employment decisions."
NBC 5 reached out to the departments and unions for the external candidates, among them, Detroit Police Deputy Chief U. Renee Hall.
"Some issues in Dallas are very close to what we saw...dealing with the issues of retention," said Detroit Police Chief James Craig. "Renee has been in the front seat of that bus with me. It would not be foreign to her." Chief Craig called Hall a "natural fit" for Dallas.
Hall is one of two women being considered for the job.
"She is absolutely ready for this," said Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O'Toole of her Deputy Chief Carmen Best. Best has had key roles in Seattle with community policing and innovation.
Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck weighed in as well on his 1st Assistant Chief Michel Moore, a 35-year veteran of the LAPD who worked his way up the ranks.
"With Los Angeles experiencing historically low crime levels and improving community engagement," Chief Beck said. "I consider him (Moore) an integral part of LAPD's success story."
City Councilman Scott Griggs said he is impressed by the opportunity for city council and community input and the speed with which Broadnax is moving forward.
"I'm very pleased by the progress, pleased by the announcement today that we have many strong candidates for this position," Griggs said.
The candidates will tour various police facilities and parts of Dallas on Monday, July 10, with a reception that night for invited community leaders.
On Tuesday, July 11, the candidates will participate in panel interviews with law enforcement officials, faith and neighborhood leaders and police groups before the public event that evening.
The city manager’s staff will interview the candidates on Wednesday, July 12, and the next steps in the process will be determined after that.