New Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall is downsizing her command staff by reducing the number of assistant and deputy chiefs.
The Dallas Police Department’s command staff will drop from nine assistant chiefs to two or three and from 14 deputy chiefs to about half that number or less. For the positions left, everyone will have to apply, with no guarantees. Even the Dallas Police Association is behind Chief Hall on the change.
Chief Hall says her changes are designed to reflect the current department make-up.
“We've lost nearly 500 officers so we need to make those adjustments at the top. Those are going to be positions they can interview for,” Hall explained. “They each know what that criteria is going to be so they can interview for those positions that are available, and the best candidates will end up my new command staff.”
“At least for once, the rank-and-file that are the lower end who are always held accountable for what they do,” said DPA President Mike Mata. “Now, we're looking at the command staff, and we're actually just asking them, not them specifically, but asking the group of them have you made a difference? And if you haven’t then maybe you shouldn’t be where you’re at.”
Mata says an efficiency study of the department a year ago found it was top heavy. His group is one that supports the chief on her first big move.
Command staff members are appointed and serve at the pleasure of the chief. While technically becoming a DPD chief is not a promotion, most always stay at that level until retirement, they get hired away or breach some policy that leads to demotion.