David Brown, the former Dallas police chief, is one of a handful of candidates being seriously considered to be Chicago's next top cop, the Tribune reported on Thursday.
The Chicago Police Board is reviewing candidates and will select three to forward to the mayor. Other top prospects include a deputy chief in the department, a former Los Angeles police official and the chief of police in the Chicago suburb of Aurora, Illinois.
Brown served in the Dallas Police Department for 33 years and led for six, before retiring in 2016. That year, five Dallas cops were killed and nine others injured in an ambush by a gunman downtown at the end of a protest against recent police killings. It was the deadliest incident involving police in the United States since 9/11. The attacker was eventually blown up by a bomb-disposal robot.
During his retirement speech, Brown said his decision wasn't driven by the events earlier that year — he'd just accomplished what he'd set out to do.
Brown, born and raised in Oak Cliff, was a staunch proponent of community policing and drew the wrath of police unions. But he claimed it was worth it: He oversaw a drop in police shootings during the latter portion of his tenure.
But a spike in shootings in his final year in office led him to promise an overhaul of the department. The city has yet to solve the puzzle of rising violent crime.
Brown witnessed the impact of gun violence personally. Both his patrol partner and his younger brother were shot and killed, the former in the line of duty and the latter by a drug dealer.
Then his son, suffering from bipolar disorder, killed a cop and another man before being shot to death by Lancaster police in 2010, mere months after Brown became chief.
The Chicago job, overseeing the second-largest police force in the country with more than 13,000 officers, would mark a return to policing for Brown. In 2017, he was hired as a commentator for ABC News.
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.