Dallas Police

Dallas Police Interim Chief Introduced, Doesn't Want the Full-Time Job

Pughes said he'll lead the department as long as it takes to find a replacement

The new interim police chief of the Dallas Police Department said at a news conference Friday morning that he doesn't want the full time job.

Interim Police Chief David Pughes, who has been with the department for 26 years and has served as an executive assistant police chief for the past 14 months, discussed his background and answered questions at a conference at 10 a.m.

“I have kids that are 13- and 15-years-old, so at this time it’s not right in my life. You have to commit to the job of Dallas police chief as the priority in your life and I’ve asked my family to make a tremendous sacrifice already," Pughes said. "I know my kids have sacrificed. And I’ve sacrificed too, I’ve missed their games and concerts and school events. I’m happy to serve this city now as the chief for however long the process takes, but I don’t want the position permanently.”

Pughes took over for David Brown, who officially retired as chief Tuesday.

“As the chief of police I’ve already found out within the first two days that most of your time is spent away from the building, and over at City Hall and other places, and you don’t have the time to sit down and really run the department," Pughes said. "In terms of the deployment strategies and how to best use resources, that’s something you have to defer.”

In the meantime, Pughes said he feels comfortable leaving the violent crimes and property crime task forces in place since response times are under control and since violent crime is an issue.  He said the department needs to focus more on fugitive apprehension and building trust with the community.

“Trust is the single biggest issue facing this city. That’s the part that concerns me more than anything," Pughes said. "Our crime rate could be down 25 percent this year versus last year but if the people that we’re serving don’t trust us and are afraid to call 911 because they’re afraid of who might show up and how they’ll be treated and what’s going to happen, if we get to that part, we’ve lost the city, and our other efforts are for naught.”

Pughes added that due to staffing officers will have to go back to 8-hour shifts for three watches per day, instead of 10-hour overlapping shifts.

"It just puts officers in a bad position with those shifts because we don’t have enough people working on them and it just doesn’t become safe," Pughes said.

The interim chief also mentioned the department was strategically recruiting officers from various departments with the hopes of boosting the depleted ranks.

NBC 5's Jeff Smith contributed to this report.

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