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What Does Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson Want In The Next Police Chief?

mayor.jpg computer screen image shows face of Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson on right, Dallas Regional Chamber leader Dale Petroskey on right
Bill Zeeble
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson discussed rising crime rates and a range of other topics with the Dallas Regional Chamber's Dale Petroskey at an online event Dec.3 in Dallas.

Though the decision is the city manager’s — not his — Johnson wants an experienced big-city police leader with a record of reducing crime.

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson remains troubled by the city’s growing violent crime rate and shrinking police force. At a virtual Dallas Regional Chamber event Thursday, Johnson laid out his hopes for the next police chief.

Johnson’s been describing his dream police chief for weeks. Even though the decision lies with the city manager, Johnson told the Dallas Regional Chamber’s Dale Petroskey exactly what wants.

“This person needs to take the violent crime problem in Dallas personally, and want to be held accountable for it," Johnson said. "That they, like me, wake up every single day and think about the residents of Dallas first — nothing else but residents of Dallas. Which is why it’s so important this next chief not be an experiment.”

Johnson was also against cutting any money from the police department back in September during budget talks. That funding was mostly left intact, with $7 million being trimmed from the police overtime budget.

“We’re speaking out of both sides of our mouths as a council in many cases,” Johnson said. “Saying we support public safety but not funding the agreed to mark-to-market on their salaries. How’s that help us recruit someone to the Dallas Police Department?”

Johnson said the force has 500 fewer officers than it did just a few years ago. Part of his campaign platform when he ran for office was to make Dallas safer.

Got a tip? Email Reporter Bill Zeeble at You can follow him on Twitter @bzeeble.

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Bill Zeeble has been a full-time reporter at KERA since 1992, covering everything from medicine to the Mavericks and education to environmental issues.