On Tuesday, U. Renee Hall officially took over as Dallas' chief of police in an atypical way. Traditionally, Dallas' chiefs have been sworn in on their first day in a public ceremony. Thanks to Hall's background, she was unable to do so.
Officers coming to Texas from outside the state have to pass an exam from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement. Hall, who's spent her entire career with the Detroit Police Department, still needs to pass the test, so for the time being, she'll be taking meetings and taking in Dallas out of uniform.
She's the first female police chief in Dallas history.
"Today is the first day of a new chapter in the life of the Dallas Police Department. It is an honor to serve as your police chief and work alongside the men and women of the Dallas Police Department," the new chief said in a statement. "I stand eager and ready to roll up my sleeves as we continue our journey in making Dallas the safest community in the country. I truly appreciate the warm welcome and expressions of love received, and I am so proud to call Dallas my new home."
During her tenure in Detroit, Hall was the deputy chief in charge of the city's Neighborhood Policing Bureau. So far, she appears committed to continuing to focus on community policing in Dallas. On Saturday afternoon, she attended a League of United Latin American Citizens meeting at El Ranchito in Oak Cliff.
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Hall added a new Twitter account Tuesday as well, @ChiefHallDPD.
Hall faces the tough tasks of rebuilding morale among DPD's officers and adding to a force that's been reduced by attrition. However, her experience in Detroit makes her a good candidate for the job, Dallas' police associations said after Hall was hired in July.
"She went through it as a younger officer and then got into leadership and helped build that back up," said Frederick Frazier, first vice president of the Dallas Police Association. "She got in there and helped with recruiting, helped them bounce back with their morale. They're hiring officers again. That's kind of where we're at, right?"