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'Get to work': Dallas police association leaders react to chief's 2020 crime plan

One association president said Chief Reneé Hall's report was a "good plan," while another said it's "smoke and mirrors."

There were differing opinions among some of the Dallas police associations in reaction to Chief Reneé Hall's newly-released 2020 crime reduction plan. 

The president of the Black Police Association of Greater Dallas said Hall's report was a "good plan," while the president of the Dallas Police Association said the plan is “smoke and mirrors.”

Some city leaders, including the mayor and the public safety committee chairman, said Hall's plan isn't ambitious enough. 

Other councilmembers said they wanted to see the plan in action before they judge it. 

BPA President Terrance Hopkins agrees.

“We’ve got to roll up our sleeves and get to work,” he said. 

Hopkins, who has been a vocal supporter of the chief, said he believes a lot of the criticism of Hall’s leadership has been unfair. He blamed it in part on her being an outsider, her gender and her race.

Hall is the first female chief of police and came to the Dallas Police Department from Detroit. 

The chief has not publicly commented on her plan, saying she will wait until she presents it to the Dallas City Council. 

RELATED: 'I have some concerns': Dallas mayor says of police chief's 2020 crime plan

“You’ve got issues with her being a female and then add to that an African-American female in a white conservative-dominated profession," Hopkins said. "You’d be crazy to think those things don’t matter.”

But Dallas Police Association President Michael Mata said his criticisms of the chief and her crime reduction plan stem from her unmet promises.

“She came here saying, ‘I know how to solve these problems because I did it in Detroit,” he said. “Every department doesn’t have enough of what they want, but other cities find a way to reduce their crime.”

Though he acknowledged that Hall adopted a troubled police department, he said the chief hasn't done enough to clarify her plans, including in the new report. 

“We’re talking about 26, 27 pages, a whole lot of big words, a whole lot of police jargon and a whole lot of content but very little clarity,” Mata said.

He said a lot of what’s in the plan amounts to reinventing things that the department is already doing or has done in the past.

For example, Hall sent most of the members of crime response units back to patrol last year because of manpower shortages. 

Now, she’s proposing to create a new violent response team, which he sees as bringing back something she largely dismantled but calling it something else.

Hopkins said it's hard to run a department that has lost so many officers, many of whom left before Hall came to Dallas. The exodus began years ago due to low pay, a failing pension system and the fallout from the ambush deaths of five police officers in downtown Dallas in 2016.

The reduced number of police officers also meant that officers had to be pulled away from proactive crime-fighting to answering what had become a crushing call load.

“You cannot reinvent the wheel with this stuff,” Hopkins said. “You can move some resources and try new tactics.”

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