4
| Crime |

Dallas Police Chief David Brown Loses a Right-Hand Man

^
Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

Charles Cato, long thought to be Dallas' police-chief-in-waiting, is leaving the Dallas Police Department. The long-serving first assistant chief has been named the chief of Mesquite's police, and will start March 7. During his time with the department, Cato served as the interim Dallas ISD police chief in 2006, was named an interim assistant city manager in 2013 and led DPD's gang unit.

Cato joined DPD in 1988 and was promoted to the executive level in 2010. Until last year, he was the only officer at that level — police chief David Brown's clear No. 2. After Brown promoted two additional officers, David Pughes and Cynthia Villarreal, to the same rank as Cato, rumors began to swirl that Cato was being chased from the department. Last month, Brown told the Observer that he was just trying to spread the leadership workload around.

"I know the conspiracy theory of promotions and command staff changes is much more sensational than somewhat the realities of what I think happens. Things happen," Brown said. "We’ve been riding our leadership team pretty hard. We have. And it’s at a pace where it’s just not sustainable, right? For me or having a single number one, particularly having to do the job at a level that’s never been done before in our history."

At the time, Brown expressed hope that Cato would stay with the department.

"Besides, Cato hasn’t gone yet. He’s still interviewing. He’s been here a long time and Cato’s done an extraordinary job for the police department, and I wish people the best in their life, whether that means staying here or whether that means going somewhere else. I don’t have the thought that people got to be loyal to me until death do us part," Brown said. "He’s been with me from the start, so I do care for him as a person and wish him the best. I hope he stays here, but if he ends up going to another city, you know, he’ll continue to have my greatest appreciation for what he’s done."

Mesquite City Manager Cliff Kehely told Mesquite Police Department officers Cato was an "exceptional leader," in an email sent before the city of Mesquite officially announced the hire Friday afternoon.

“Improving public safety in Mesquite is one of the City Council’s top policy areas. Charles has the background and experiences we need to help lead us in new proactive efforts to make our community safer," Mesquite Mayor Stan Pickett said.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.