DALLAS - The new interim head of the Dallas Police Department said the No. 1 safety issue for the city is trust between police and citizens.
Interim Chief David Pughes addressed the media and answered questions about his leadership role Friday at the Dallas Police Headquarters.
Pughes has been with the Dallas Police Department since 1990. He’s done his time on patrol, supervised the homicide unit and was a deputy chief over the Northwest Patrol Division and the police academy. He took over Tuesday following the retirement of Chief David Brown.
"Incredibly large shoes to fill. It's going to be a real daunting task,” he said. “I was pretty fortunate. I got to work right underneath him for the last year."
Pughes admitted it will be a challenge to temporarily step into a job with a department that is losing officers at an alarming rate.
"To be able to continue to do what we do with a shrinking workforce is going to be a challenge,” he said. “We're working diligently to hire people and to make sure that we can get some good people back. We always go through a good deal of attrition but we're going through some additional now because of some to the issues."
Pughes expects to be interim chief some time while the City of Dallas looks for Brown’s permanent replacement, but he said he's not applying for the job. Pughes knows he'll be remembered as the man who followed the longest serving and most popular chief Dallas has seen.
“I’m not even trying to get close to that. I’m just trying to do the job to the best of my ability where everybody says, you know what, while he filled in for Chief Brown and before the new chief came he really did a good job. We could trust him. He was fair. The officers appreciated the way he did the job – that’s all I’m looking for.”