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Just when they thought he was out, Dallas officials pull Chief Eddie Garcia back in

Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia speaks to reporters at UNT Dallas about the Texas Law Enforcement Peer Network on Sept. 9, 2022.
Jacob Wells
City officials said rumors had been circulating about Austin and Houston trying to lure Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia away. On Thursday, they penned an agreement to keep him in the city.

After rumors that other major Texas cities may be trying to lure Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia away, city officials came to an agreement to keep him here. That’s according to a press release from the city on Thursday.

The agreement is an addendum to Garcia’s original offer letter from the city that was signed in 2020. Garcia’s salary will remain the same, “however beginning in November 2024, he will receive a retention bonus of $10k” every six months, according to the press release.

In turn, Garcia has committed to stay in Dallas until at least May 2027 — and said he would assist the city in finding a new chief of police “when that time comes.”

The agreement was signed by Interim City Manager Kimberly Tolbert on Thursday afternoon after speculation that Garcia could be lured away to a different city. Tolbert took over as the city’s top executive after T.C. Broadnax resigned as city manager.

“This was complicated, but we got it done,” Tolbert said in the release. “If this was NFL Football, we were able to keep Chief Garcia on the Dallas Team; he’s the right quarterback to lead our police department. We certainly didn’t want to lose him to free agency.”

The agreement also says if any city manager terminates Garcia’s contract he will get a year’s salary as severance.

But if he is terminated for his “work performance or is convicted of an offense of moral turpitude or a felony criminal act” he won’t get paid.

“To live and work in Dallas is to love Dallas,” Garcia was quoted in the release. “This is the right place to complete my service, and I know your police officers are honored to serve Dallas residents. We will keep doing our jobs with excellence and results.”

The agreement comes at a time when Dallas officials are facing financial pressures like fixing the severely underfunded police and fire pension system — and a budget deficit of over $30 million. Still, some elected officials say this was a necessary step.

“It means a lot, I think, to the men and women that are serving on [the Dallas Police Department] that we are willing to go the extra mile in keeping that leadership intact when things are working well,” District 9 Council Member Paula Blackmon told KERA.

Blackmon said the six-month bonuses is a sound return on investment for the work that elected officials have seen Garcia do since 2020. That includes working on a violent crime reduction plan that has yielded sizable results.

“$20,000 a year for hitting his record is a wise investment,” Blackmon said. “To our city, to our residents, to us as elected officials and…I applaud everyone involved in seeing the value of keeping him here.”

These types of retention efforts are how other corporations keep good employees, according to Blackmon. She says this could be a pilot program that could be spread to other city departments.

District 12 Council Member Cara Mendelsohn said she was happy the city could reach an agreement to keep Garcia.

“We should always recognize our exceptional talent and ensure they are well compensated and appreciated,” Mendelsohn said in a statement to KERA.

District 1 Council Member Chad West told KERA that public safety is a high priority in the city and making sure the department's leadership is solid is crucial.

"When you have a solid leader on your team, it makes fiscal and good business sense to do what you can to keep them," West said. "We need to keep Chief Garcia, and we will find the resources to make it happen."

In a message posted on social media, Garcia said the department was home.

Got a tip? Email Nathan Collins at You can follow Nathan on Twitter @nathannotforyou.

KERA News is made possible through the generosity of our members. If you find this reporting valuable, consider making a tax-deductible gifttoday. Thank you.

Nathan Collins is the Dallas Accountability Reporter for KERA. Collins joined the station after receiving his master’s degree in Investigative Journalism from Arizona State University. Prior to becoming a journalist, he was a professional musician.