Renee Hall / WFAA Courtesy
Renee Hall / WFAA Courtesy

Dallas

Detroit deputy chief named first female police chief in Dallas

Rebecca Lopez and Marjorie Owens

WFAA-TV

July 19, 2017 12:54 PM

UPDATED July 19, 2017 03:16 PM

DALLAS

The Dallas Police Department has a new police chief.

City Manager T.C. Broadnax has hired Detroit Deputy Chief Ulysha Renee Hall, who'll be the first female to serve as police chief in Dallas.

In her new leadership role with Dallas police, Hall said she hopes to continue her work building a bridge between the community and police.

"The most important thing that we need to know is that it takes the entire city to police any city," she said Wednesday during a news conference out of Detroit. "Whether that is Detroit or Dallas, we need everybody, all hands on deck, everybody working together."

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During her time with the Detroit Police Department, Hall established and oversaw a neighborhood policing program that worked to create a relationship between minority communities and officers. According to a city of Dallas statement, Detroit saw a 40-year low in homicides and "double-digit reductions in violent crime for three consecutive years" at a time she served with the department.

Hall's father, Officer Ulysses Brown, was killed in the line of duty on Aug. 20, 1971, in Detroit. She was just six months old at the time, according to Detroit's ABC station, WXYZ.

Brown was working for a unit formed to crack down on prostitution when he was shot dead by an unknown assailant, the Detroit station reported.

"My father not being there meant the same thing as every other child in Detroit or around the world growing up without a father," she told WXYZ. "It has an impact."

Almost 26 years later, her father's murder remains one of Detroit's oldest unsolved cases.

At the age of 29, Renee Hall began her service with the Detroit Police Department.

When asked about advice for other women in law enforcement, Hall said "anything is possible."

"What I need women to know is we kind of do it a little different, a little better, a little more nurturing by nature," she said. "We add that little something special to law enforcement that truly, truly calms the savage beast. ... Any young lady interested in law enforcement, go after your dreams, follow your heart and one day you too can stand as a chief of police in a major city."

From Dallas, Broadnax also addressed the historic aspect of Hall's hiring.

"I think it speaks volumes to where this city is," he said of the first female police chief. "I think it speaks volumes to her police and law enforcement background. And I think it should be significant."

There were eight finalists to replace former Chief David Brown.

One of the finalists, Chief Steve Dye, of Grand Prairie, dropped out.

The list included Dallas Deputy Chiefs Malik Aziz and Rick Watson,d Dallas Assistant Chief Gary Tittle, Seattle Deputy Chief Carmen Best, Detroit Deputy Chief U. Renee Hall, Los Angeles First Assistant Chief Michel Moore and Assistant Chief Luther Reynolds, of Montgomery County, MD.

The city launched a nationwide search after Brown retired in October.

The candidates toured the city last week and met with citizens, police associations and the Dallas City Council.

Broadnax listened to people’s viewpoints but the decision was his to make.

The new chief faces big challenges, including low morale, failing pensions and a dwindling police department.

Broadnax went to the council to ask for a higher salary to pay the new chief.

Hall will start her role as Dallas police chief on Sept. 5.

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whitehouse.gov