Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall says departments need to regain public’s trust

Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall opened up about the need for police across the nation to regain the public's trust.

While Chief Hall said training was not the issue in the shooting of Botham Jean, she said she is going to increase training for Dallas police officers.

In addition to more time at the gun range and training officers for implicit biases, Chief Hall said the department was recently audited to see if data reveals any evidence of racial profiling in the department.

In a sit down conversation with the Dallas Bar Association, Chief Hall was candid about the impact the shooting of Botham Jean had on the department and even law enforcement across the country.

“We know that shooting changed everyone's life.  A family was left without a son. Now, there's another family left without a daughter for a number of years,” she said. “We recognize we have work to do. We don't run from it.”

Dallas recently created a community police oversight board that can independently review the actions of Dallas police officers.

Hall said it will be an important step to earning back the public's trust.

“As a police chief and department, every time one of my officers uses force, it's not if, it's when. We can't be on trial every time an officer does his or her job,” she said.

Hall said in addition to giving officers training for unintentional biases, she's also increasing their time on the gun range.

“We were once a year. Now, we're moving to quarterly,” she said. “That is because what we learned is the training can be the best. But if it’s is not instinctive, if it is not muscle memory, then it is all for naught.”

The Dallas Police Department has been providing implicit bias training since 2016. The theory of it is that even if people consciously reject stereotypes, they can still unconsciously hold negative associations. The training helps officers identify unintentional biases and reduce their influence.