DALLAS – Of the seven candidates interviewing to become Dallas’ next police chief this week, two are women, prompting the question whether it is time for a female to lead the nation’s seventh largest police department.
“It may be. I’m looking forward to meeting these women and including them in a serious consideration for the next chief, and it is not beyond my thought that we could have a female police chief in this city,” said T.C. Broadnax, Dallas' city manager, during an appearance on WFAA-TV’s Inside Texas Politics Sunday morning.
Carmen Best, deputy chief at the Seattle Police Department, along with U. Renee Hall, deputy chief at the Detroit Police Department, will interview for the job this week.
The remaining six candidates are all men, including:
- Malik Aziz, deputy chief of the Dallas Police Department
- Michel Moore, first assistant chief of the Los Angeles Police Department
- Luther Reynolds, assistant chief of the Montgomery County (Maryland) Police Department
- Gary Tittle, assistant chief of the Dallas Police Department
- Rick Watson, deputy chief of the Dallas Police Department
Steve Dye, police chief in Grand Prairie, removed his name from consideration earlier this month.
Of the nation’s 50 largest police departments, only five are led by women, according to the Denver Post.
A 2013 survey conducted by the National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives found just 169 women leading the more than 1,500 police departments, sheriff’s offices and other law enforcement agencies across the U.S. that responded, the Post reported.
The new chief will replace David Brown, who retired last October after 33 years with DPD. Brown is currently a consultant for ABC News.
When he left, Brown earned about $208,000. But the Dallas City Council gave Broadnax permission to negotiate perhaps a larger amount for the person he hires.
When asked on Inside Texas Politics how much money he anticipates, it will take to hire Brown’s replacement, Broadnax said:
“I think that was his base salary. He had other types of supplemental pay that came along with being a law enforcement officer in this community. I think my anticipation was that if in fact if we did hire somebody from the outside, they would not immediately qualify for some of those types of things. I don’t have a salary in mind I just wanted the flexibility since council is out in July. I wanted to be able to make an offer if in fact we had to hire someone from the outside.”
Dallas underpays its officers by thousands of dollars and they are taking a new pay cut as they’re forced to contribute more to their pension after a badly mismanaged fund left retirements in jeopardy.
Broadnax, who joined the city on February 1, was asked what message it sends to the rank and file that the new chief could potentially make more than the former one.
“You get what you pay for and I want to make sure I have the best and highest qualified police chief and I don’t want to be constrained based on an opinion of someone as it relates to their worth and value of the position,” he explained. “You gotta pay people based what the job and the content of the job is. I’d say I hope they’d appreciate that I was able to hire them a good leader and pay what was necessary to get them one.”
The Dallas Police Department is the seventh largest in the United States, according to a 2015 report from the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics. DPD falls behind the New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Houston, and Washington, D.C. Police Departments.
Broadnax has already taken steps to reshuffle leadership at Dallas City Hall. Is that process over or are more changes coming? Watch his interview here: