Seven finalists are vying to be the next Dallas police chief -- including two women
Some are wondering if now is time for Dallas to have its first ever woman chief. Of the nation's 50 largest police departments, only five are led by women.
All seven candidates went through their last round of interviews Wednesday with City Manager T.C. Broadnax.
“They’ve taken us through the paces, but I’m enjoying it and looking forward to the opportunity to see where it lands,” said Carmen Best, Deputy Chief Seattle Police.
Best guided Seattle through its most recent fatal officer involved shooting, releasing critical information within hours of the incident to quell angry voices.
Best said being a police officer is a “vocation” and a “calling.”
U. Renee Hall, Deputy Chief Detroit Police followed her father into police life. He was killed in the line of duty.
“The City of Detroit has experienced the same elements and challenges that the City of Dallas has right now,” Hall said.
Hall believes being on the force is about skill, ability to lead, ability to boost morale and engage the community.
University of Texas at Dallas criminology professor Dr. Alex Piquero said it shouldn’t matter whether the next chief is a man or woman.
“Dallas is ready for the best possible chief they can find, whether that person’s a man, a woman, African American, Hispanic or white,” Piquero said. “Someone who is an effective leader, who has experience in large agencies, who is gonna use the best evidence-based crime prevention policies, who is also gonna embody a spirit of trust and accountability.”
Piquero feels what really matters is what the chief does -- not who they are.
“I think at the end of the day citizens are going to want a police chief who is going to do the job,” Piquero said. “I think they are going to look past an individual’s demographic.”