Dallas police chief announces intention to resign at year's end

Chief U. Reneé Hall is the third chief of a major agency in the region to announce plans to depart since late April


By Emerson Clarridge
Fort Worth Star-Telegram

DALLAS — Dallas Police Chief U. Reneé Hall announced on Tuesday that she intends to resign from the post she has held for three years.

Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax said Hall had agreed to remain until the end of this year after he asked her to extend her first plan to leave in early November.

Dallas Police Chief U. Reneé Hall has faced intense questions this year, both regarding the effectiveness of her crime-fighting strategies and her leadership during the chaotic four days of protests that began May 29. (Photo/Ryan Michalesko/Staff Photographer)
Dallas Police Chief U. Reneé Hall has faced intense questions this year, both regarding the effectiveness of her crime-fighting strategies and her leadership during the chaotic four days of protests that began May 29. (Photo/Ryan Michalesko/Staff Photographer)

Hall, who is the city’s first female police chief, suggested in her resignation letter that she may be considering another law enforcement job.

“Over the last few months I have received a number of inquiries about future career opportunities,” Hall wrote. “As you can imagine, for many reasons, I must keep my next career step confidential.”

“These past three years have been saturated with series of unimaginable events that individually and collectively have never happened in the city of Dallas,” Hall wrote in the letter. “I am proud that this department has not only coped with an unthinkable series of events, but we have also managed to implement critical reforms that were clearly needed for the Dallas Police Department to meet our 21st Century policing goals.”

Hall was a Detroit police deputy chief when she was hired in July 2017.

Hall is the third chief of a major police department in the region to announce plans to depart since late April. Will Johnson retired in early June after seven years as chief in Arlington.

Fort Worth Police Chief Ed Kraus announced in July that he intended to retire. Kraus became the department’s chief in May 2019. The city is on track to have a new chief by March.

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said he had not spoken to Hall about her decision, but was not “terribly surprised by it considering the recent public statements of my City Council colleagues,” an apparent reference to criticisms of Hall’s handling of demonstrations in the city in May and June.

“I believe the Dallas City Council now must continue to support public safety in our communities,” Johnson wrote in a statement. “We cannot exclusively rely on law enforcement to reduce crime, but we absolutely need new policing strategies and fresh eyes that can help us reverse the unfortunate and unacceptable increases in violent crime in our city. We need strong and experienced police leadership that instills a culture of community policing, crime-fighting, and accountability.”

Broadnax offered plaudits in a statement.

“In her three years of service, Chief Hall has provided consistent, passionate, resilient and robust leadership to our city,” he wrote. “She has implemented a host of reforms that will assist our department as we move forward.”

Among the central moments of Hall’s tenure was the murder conviction of a former Dallas police officer in the shooting of her neighbor.

Amber Guyger was found guilty on Oct. 1 of murder in the death of Botham Jean, her unarmed Black neighbor, whom she shot in his apartment. She was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

On Sept. 6, 2018, Guyger, who is white, entered Jean’s apartment, mistaking it for her own, and believed he was an intruder, she testified.

Guyger had just finished working an extended shift of about 14 hours for the Dallas Police Department and was still in uniform when she shot Jean. The department fired her.

©2020 the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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