Dallas Police Chief U. Renee Hall will soon be shaking up the top ranks of the Dallas Police Department.
Hall, a Detroit native, assumed command just over a month ago. She was previously a deputy chief at the Detroit Police Department.
Her plan leaves no doubt that some of the highest ranking members of the Dallas Police Department will be demoted as she charts a new course for the ailing department. Some of them may choose to retire.
Among her plans:
Reduce the number of assistant chiefs from nine to 3. Seven of the positions are currently filled.
Reduce the number of deputy chiefs from 15 to seven. Eleven of the positions are currently filled.
Hall says she plans to begin interviewing for the positions as soon as next week.
“I’m looking at what you have done, how you are taking care of your troops and what you have done to take the department to the next level,” Hall says.
To help her assess the command staff, she has asked the department’s rank and file to complete a survey that asks them to rate the leadership of their majors, deputy chiefs and assistants chiefs.
It asks officers to rate from poor to excellent whether the leadership at their assignment leads by example, tries to improve morale and demonstrates strong community engagement skills.
“I think the survey is going to help me at least know how the troops are feeling because leadership matters,” Hall said. “We’re not looking for individuals to win a popularity contest But if you see that a third or a fourth of the department has the same concern or the same issues with the same major or deputy chief or assistant, then there’s something to that.”
She hopes to have the department reorganized by Nov. 1
“I don’t know any of these people so none of these decisions are personal,” she says. “It’s all about the success of the department … because the department’s success is my success.”
As it stands, David Pughes who was the interim police chief will remain as her second-in-command.
Thomas Taylor, her new chief of staff, starts tomorrow.
Taylor previously served as the director of safety and security for the Downtown Detroit Partnership.
Before that, he was a Detroit police sergeant in the downtown services division where he helped manage a team of officers responsible for coordinating large events. He also worked as an assistant director of security for the Detroit Lions.
Hall knows Taylor well from their time together on the Detroit Police Department.
“He’s my right arm,” she says. “He always made sure that things that needed to be done were done. I never had to worry about anything.”
Hall took over a department struggling with low morale and a lack of confidence in many of its leaders. It’s lost more than 450 officers during a the last fiscal year – the highest number of departures in a decade. Much of it was fueled by a failing pension system and higher pay offered by other area departments.
The department currently has just under 3,100 officers, about 600 less than seven years ago when her predecessor became chief.