Incoming Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall Meets With Community Before Leaving Detroit

Incoming Dallas police chief Renee Hall began to say goodbye to her hometown Detroit on Thursday, and she talked more about becoming the top cop in Dallas.

Hall, a deputy police chief in Detroit, says she'll bring some of her core policing values to Dallas, including community involvement, encouraging officers to build relationships in the communities they patrol.

She got the call earlier this week telling her she had been hired as chief in Dallas. But instead of celebrating that night, fellow officers in Detroit say she went back in to work and out to a scene where an officer was injured.

Her Detroit colleagues say that's typical for Hall — always working.

She visited a community picnic Thursday, giving more insight into what type of chief she may be. Relationships built over 18 years of community events are what the job is all about.

"You know, this is not just for the camera. Most of these people will tell you no matter what part of the city I was in command of, I have always been a huge part of the city," Hall said.

Arthur Edge has seen that first hand, running a group that helps police fight crime in some of Detroit's toughest neighborhoods.

"She's a very nice person that you can go up to at any time," Edge said. "Very open. You can talk to her about everything, and she's very concerned about what's going on out here in the streets."

Among the rank-and-file, Hall has a reputation as tough but fair. She's available to her officers around the clock, even giving her cell phone number to citizens and encouraging them to call her directly.

One Detroit officer had advice for Dallas officers about what it's going to be like working for Hall.

"It's going to be wonderful. As long as you do your job and you are doing what you are supposed to be doing, she's your person," the officer said.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said he spoke to to Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and suggested he hire Hall.

"From what I understand Dallas barely beat out some other cities that were making offers at the same time. So Mayor Rawlings is a good friend of mine, and I think you moved decisively and quickly, and I think you are going to be very pleased," Duggan said.

Hall knows building new relationships will be a challenge, especially with the Dallas police unions. But in Detroit, union leaders say Hall has been good to work with.

"We all want the same things. They want the best for the officers, and how is that any different from what I want?" Hall said.

Privately some Detroit officers have said their only concern is how well Dallas will accept Hall as an outsider.

She said she's confident she will build relationships just as she did in the Motor City and that her faith will carry her through the challenges of the job.

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