DALLAS – In the Cummings area of South Oak Cliff, there are a lot of neighbors buzzing about Dallas Police Chief David Brown announcing his retirement.
“We’re going to miss him,” said longtime crossing guard Oretha Nash, as she sat with her coworker Doris Anderson across from Pease Elementary School.
”Oh, I was sad,” Nash said. “I was sad to hear that, because he is a great guy. He’s done a wonderful job.”
The crossing guards are among neighbors who say they know of Brown’s roots in the area. They say he grew up at the Cummings Recreation Center.
Neighbors say they watched Brown’s career grow over the years.
“The last incident where the cops were killed, I thought he did a great job,” Anderson said.
Chief Brown’s job has not been an easy one. Even before the ambush of Dallas police officers on July 7, he has been combating rising rates in murders and violent crime.
Some residents say more focus on outreach, foot patrols, and neighborhood policing has been a plus.
“Well, I was extremely shocked,” said Dallas City Councilmember Carolyn King Arnold. “It caught me off guard. I didn’t see it coming.“
Arnold supports the work Chief Brown has been doing in the community. Though, like many, she is questioning the timing of his retirement.
“Mainly because we were depending on his leadership with the discussion of the police salaries and the funding for next year,” Arnold said.
Chief Brown has his fair share of supporters and critics.
President of NAACP-Dallas Arthur Fleming says he believes Brown did the best he could.
”The only thing I would say he could have done better: he could have met with more grass-root community leaders. Established a relationship with them to assist him with community policing,” Fleming said. “Now, that part never happened. I’m kind of disappointed about that, because I really wanted to work with him.”
Chief Brown says he will continue leading Dallas Police Department until October 22, 2016.
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