DALLAS - What will Dallas Police Chief David Brown do once he retires?
The outgoing Dallas Police Department chief met with reporters Thursday for the first time since announcing his retirement.
Brown was dressed in a suit and tie instead of his usual police uniform for the press conference. He said he’s received several future opportunities over the past week and is weighing his options, but he isn’t ready to talk about them yet.
“That ain’t nobody’s business but me and my baby’s,” he told reporters.
For now, he will stick to the gym, playing golf, biking and spending time with his family.
Brown’s legacy will likely stem from the deadly ambush that killed five officers in Downtown Dallas. He was nationally recognized and praised for his leadership. On the night of the shooting, he and his team made the unprecedented decision to take down a suspect with a robot loaded with explosives.
Brown said was starting to hear whispers that he was untouchable because of the July 7 shooting. He said that made him uncomfortable. He admitted the national notoriety that felt “self-serving” and "distasteful” is leading him to hang up his hat.
“The job of a police chief is to be challenged,” he said.
Brown also dispelled rumors that he’s been considering retirement for the past year or that he made the decision just because of the July 7 shooting. He thanked the community and described taking the uniform off as “an emotional rollercoaster.”
“It’s been 33 years. It’s time to go. It’s time to retire. That’s a long time to be somewhere. But really, more importantly, I came here to serve in any capacity that the department chose to assign me t,” he said. “I really thought that becoming a public servant was a high calling and I really have been excited this entire time to serve the city. I feel like I’ve accomplished the goal of serving over 33 years.”
Chief Brown also emphasized the need to pay Dallas officers more during his conference.
“We're in a tough negotiation to give our officers a raise,” he said. “Officers make forty-four grand to risk their lives."
Brown hopes he leaves behind a legacy of inspiring inner-city kids to become police officers in the neighborhoods.
“To the young people becoming police: ‘Don’t quit on me. Finish what you’ve started, especially people of color,’” he said.
Brown became a DPD officer 33 years ago to help the crack cocaine epidemic in Oak Cliff, where he grew up. He’s served as chief for the past six years despite the average tenure for chiefs being only three years.
Earlier this year, police associations criticized him because of a spike in crime and low department morale. They even called for his resignation when he assigned more officers to work the streets to address the city’s high murder rate.
There is no timetable to find the city's next chief. The search for a new chief will not even begin until the city first finds a new city manager.
Brown’s last day is on Oct. 22. Assistant Chief David Pughes will be the interim chief during the search for the chief’s replacement.