Hours after news began circulating on Facebook that the Dallas Police Department's own David O. Brown would be taking over as chief next week, the city's new top cop stepped before cameras and reporters, and about 20 gathered police officers, to give the news a more personal touch. Saying he was "very humbled" and "very excited" by the promotion, Brown told reporters that City Manager Mary Suhm called him earlier this morning to offer the job, and that he'd immediately accepted. Brown will officially take the reins May 5, a week from today.
Taking place at the same podium where Kunkle announced last November that he'd be stepping down, Brown's appearance made a fitting book-end to the city's months-long search for a replacement. While Kunkle had been flanked by a row of supporters at his conference, Brown took the podium solo today, nearly forgetting to introduce his wife who'd been standing just off the stage.
With uniformed officers lining the room to hear from their new chief, Brown made it clear he'd look to them first for support. "No chief can be successful in Dallas without the rank and file," Brown said. "We are a family. Sometimes brothers and sisters don't always get agree, but they're still brothers and sisters."
Serving as Kunkle's No. 2 man since 2005, Brown said he often had to take the tougher role in a good cop/bad cop arrangement, which he acknowledged gave him a reputation for toughness. "My role was completely different than it will be now," Brown said.