Ron Pinkston, the combative face of the Dallas Police Association, announced Monday that he'll be stepping down as the police union's president. The date of his departure: Oct. 4, the same day Dallas Police Chief David Brown is set to step down from his post.
Pinkston is a Dallas Police Department veteran with more than three decades of service. “Putting on my police badge for the past 31 years has been a daily reminder of the vow no officer should take lightly,” Pinkston said in a statement. “Our role is to protect and to serve, and I am fortunate to have served with the most dedicated officers in the country who more than understand the importance and sanctity of that vow.”
Pinkston was Brown's near-constant foil, leading the charge for the chief to resign. Even while retiring, he took the chance to emphasize the causes over which he's fought Brown during the chief's six years in the top job — officer morale, low pay and the department's attrition rate.
“For the sake of the future of our city and our department, it is imperative that our city leaders understand the role police officers play in the success of Dallas," he said. "By running off talented officers to other cities or professions because of low pay and poor benefits, Dallas is on a dangerous path toward a future marred by fear and violence. This will not only destroy once-safe neighborhoods, but also deter economic opportunities for our city.”
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During his time in charge of the DPA, Pinkston has always stuck up for his officers. When challenged over the more than 80 percent of DPD officers who live outside the city of Dallas, Pinkston blamed the city's high cost of living. When Dallas residents protested police brutality in 2014, following the deaths of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York City, Pinkston insisted that the protesters themselves had "blood on their hands" following the December 2014 shooting deaths of two New York City police officers.
When Brown pushed for more transparency from the department with regard to shootings by police officers, Pinkston called for less, insisting that the department stop releasing the names of officers who killed members of the public.
The DPA election to replace Pinkston is slated for December. Frederick Frazier, DPA's first vice president, will handle the job until then.