Dallas’ first female police chief is exactly who our area needs

Dallas’ first female police chief is exactly who our area needs

Dallas’ first female police chief is exactly who our area needs
July 27
09:00 2017

By The Editorial Board

Starting Sept. 5, the Dallas Police Department will receive the historic leadership it desperately needs.

Detroit Deputy Chief Ulysha Renee Hall was announced as the city’s new police chief last Wednesday, and will mark the first time in Dallas history a woman will “serve as [its] police chief.”

A black woman, to be exact.

In all of the 136 years Dallas PD has existed, this is the first time a woman will be in charge. Although black officers have been hired in Dallas since 1947, and the city had a black police chief from 2010 to 2016, Hall is an excellent change of pace for today’s modern paradigm of feminist and minority reform. Taking the various recent crimes committed on Texas soil into account, Hall’s professional tenure and cultural background are both positive solutions to our broken local communities.

For those of us either finishing school or embarking upon our final semesters, police controversy has been inextricable to our college experience. The fatal shootings of Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown led into a series of riots and looting three years ago.

Not only did these riots, and the media covering them, increase awareness of the hundreds of black Americans slain by policemen each year, they aided in stigmatizing every officer of the law as racist and negligent totalitarians. Even our area couldn’t escape the wave, considering how 15-year-old Jordan Edwards was killed by a Balch Springs policeman this year.

According to The Washington Post, Hall’s plan for the department will consist of “building on the successes of the past, preserving community trust” and guaranteeing safety. This couldn’t come at a better time.

More than a mere footnote in police history, Hall’s service with the Detroit Police Department lasted for 18 years. According to USA Today, her tenure saw “a 40-year low in homicides and ‘double-digit reductions in violent crime for three consecutive years.’”

Likely to bring that prestige into Texas, she told The Dallas Morning News at a July 19 conference that “she wants young girls interested in law enforcement to follow their [hearts]” and embrace their nurturing inclinations.

In addition to women’s rights, Hall is also plugged into issues plaguing black communities. “My father not being [around] meant the same thing as every other child in Detroit or around the world growing up without a father,” she said, noting how her father’s murder – an officer himself – remains an unsolved crime to this day.

But perhaps most importantly, the hire of Hall needed to happen to show us a different face for police authority. Her involvement could lessen crimes in this area, influence local legislation for the better and encourage a collective of minorities and women to join law enforcement. While it’s unfortunate it took so long for Dallas police to be ran by a woman, there is no better time for history to be made.

The communities of Dallas, Fort Worth and beyond need social healing right now, so the hire of a black female is far from coincidental.

This is why the arrival of Ulysha Hall is such a cause for celebration. Through her leadership, Dallas PD is finally showing care for others who don’t resemble the atypical police officer. Blue lives do, in fact, matter, but so do the lives of everyone living in the DFW area. And the first step towards mending our relationship with officers was selecting a chief incredibly in touch with the needs of women and minorities.

Good call, Dallas.

Featured Illustration: Samuel Wiggins

About Author

Preston Mitchell

Preston Mitchell

Preston served as the Opinion Editor of the North Texas Daily from July 2016 to July 2017, and is a UNT graduate of integrative studies.

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