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'Finishing Out What My Dad Started': Renee Hall On Becoming Dallas' Top Cop

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Detroit Police Department

Dallas made a landmark hire this week – Renee Hall will be the first woman to run the city’s police department. Now serving as deputy chief in Detroit, Hall is determined to make her mark in Dallas not just as a woman, but as a standout leader.

  Interview Highlights: Renee Hall On….

...how Chief David Brown handled last July's police ambush: “I have the utmost respect for Chief Brown, even before the incident. But definitely to be able to manage all that was taking place at that particular time, I mean there’s no planning that you can do for that. No matter how many years of policing you have under your belt, I don’t think you can ever prepare for such a tragedy. But I think that he was very noble in his approach, and I just commend him on the way he handled it.”

…being the first woman to get the job as chief: “I’ve been in law enforcement for nearly 19 years and I’m a leader in the organization that I’m in. And I really want people not to just look at me as a woman chief, I want you to look at me as a chief. I’m here because I have the ability. I don’t want to win over anybody based on my sex, I want to win over the officers because they believe in me, that I’m supporting them, that I’m giving them what they need to be successful in the streets of Dallas. So I am a woman, and I’m proud to be a woman but I need people to understand that I’m a chief.”

…how her father, a police officer killed in the line of duty, influenced her career: “Honestly it was divine. I do believe that law enforcement for me is a calling. That I’m finishing out what my Dad started. What I can say is it has made me more passionate about law enforcement as a whole, the safety of our officers. My Dad didn’t make it to off-duty roll call.  So my job, my responsibility, my leadership is to ensure that each one of my officers come back the way they left.”

Courtney Collins has been working as a broadcast journalist since graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in 2004. Before coming to KERA in 2011, Courtney worked as a reporter for NPR member station WAMU in Washington D.C. While there she covered daily news and reported for the station’s weekly news magazine, Metro Connection.
Rick Holter is KERA's vice president of news. He oversees news coverage on all of KERA's platforms – radio, digital and television. Under his leadership, KERA News has earned more than 200 local, regional and national awards, including the station's first two national Edward R. Murrow Awards. He and the KERA News staff were also part of NPR's Ebola-coverage team that won a George Foster Peabody Award, broadcasting's highest honor.