Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall has revealed her plan to reorganize department leadership. The shakeup comes nearly three months after Hall took over as the city's top cop.
"This was a very tough decision to make. We recognize that lives are impacted...but the city manager has charged me with the responsibility of leading this department forward using strategic deployment and being fiscally responsible," Hall said.
Hall's plan, announced Thursday morning, reduces the number of assistant chief positions to three, down from nine. There will be seven deputy chiefs — down from 13 — each leading their own divisions.
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Those divisions will operate within four geographic sections, each headed by a deputy chief with two majors. Majors, which Hall kept at a total of 15, will have a larger presence in the field with patrol officers, lieutenants and sergeants.
"This department was very top heavy and we had to make some tough decisions that was indicative of the number of police officers we have for deployment, for strategic crime fighting, and to ensure that our officers have what they need and this community has what they need," Hall said. "Those are the reasons I made the decision."
Hall arrived at the Dallas Police Department in September after winning the job over several candidates both inside and outside the department. Two of those demoted Thursday were finalists for the job.
Police union president Michael Mata welcomed the reorganization, but he and the officers he represents have concerns about several of Hall's personnel decisions.
"I'm hearing it from a lot of rank-and-file who are greatly concerned, because some of those individuals that were demoted were the most highly respected, most well-liked commanders in the administration, who under (former) Chief Brown maybe haven't had the ability to command like they wanted to," Mata said.
Mata is concerned that the demotions could lead some of the department's most experienced officers to consider leaving the force.
"I know a lot of people are hurting right now, because they've worked on a career. This is their life, and it has drastically changed today. You've got to increase morale, you have to have the rank-and-file believe that they're leaders believe in them, that they are looking out for their best interests," he said. "Some of the individuals that were demoted were the ones we were looking at to lead us."
Hall acknowledged that some on the command staff may be disappointed, but she hopes that they'll all continue to serve the city of Dallas.
"They are and always have been a part of the team, maybe not in the same position they used to be," she said. "Our prayer is that they will take a space on the team and they will continue to serve these citizens, but if they decide to do something different then we truly understand and wish them well."
The changes are expected to officially going into effect in two weeks.
See the full organizational chart below: