News of the Dallas Police Department Chief David Brown retiring came as a surprise to many people.
After six years in the position, Chief Brown announced his retirement Thursday afternoon.
Brown has had a pretty long run at the top as the longest serving Dallas police chief in recent decades.
His relationship with the unions has had its ups and downs. Last fall and into the spring, Brown was the target of criticism for declining morale and a spike in crime. There were calls for him to be fired.
After the July 7 police ambush attack, Brown received unanimous support from the unions. However, that relationship has strained in recent weeks.
“He did a great marvelous job with the shootings, with the killing of the officers. He did a great job with that,” said Michael Dalton with the Fraternal Order of Police. “And you know we've had issues and difficulties with maintaining manpower and all those other things. So maybe a change in leadership would be a good thing for us as an organization.”
Dallas Police Association President Ron Pinkston says a change in leadership will make little difference if city leaders fail to fix low police pay and a high turnover rate.
"When we look at hiring the next chief, I'm sure they're going to look at is this the city I want to come to, are they committed to Public Safety?” said Pinkston. “Are they committed to making the police department successful?”
For the Black Police Officers Association, the hiring of more minorities is part of that successful equation.
“We will address our concerns with the department and also our organization,” said Phyllis Williams with the Black Police Officers Association. “We want to make sure we, as the black organization, will also be represented fairly and equally.”
Brown started with the Dallas police force 33 years ago and worked his way up through the ranks.
He left the University of Texas in Austin and his scholarship to help fight the crack cocaine epidemic in his hometown.
As Brown's leadership comes to an end, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings told reporters the chief has "done it the right way,” significantly reducing crime and deadly force and leaving the city of Dallas better than he found it.
Chief Brown is currently in Austin. He plans to hold a press conference about his upcoming retirement when he returns to work on September 8.