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Interviews Begin For Candidates for Dallas Police Chief

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By BJ Austin, KERA News

Dallas, TX – Candidates for Dallas Police Chief are preparing for two days of interviews this week. KERA's BJ Austin says the "short list" includes three Dallas Assistant Chiefs and three outsiders.

During two days of interviews Wednesday and Thursday, the six candidates for Dallas Police Chief will meet with four panels: citizens, business leaders, city managers, and Police Association representatives. Detective Ron Pinkston, with the Dallas Police Association, says "leadership" is the key quality he'll be looking for in the next Chief. He says whoever gets the job will have a couple of big challenges.

Pinkston: Economic times, it's a hard time right now financially for the city. He'll have to face that and the Department. And he's got low morale. He'll have to work towards improving the morale of the officers.

Restrictions on the Department's chase policy, squad-car computer problems, an old two-way radio system, and rumors of cuts to salaries and sick-time payments have been complaints of officers during Chief David Kunkle's tenure.

The six candidates for Chief include three from inside the Department: First Assistant Chief David Brown, second in command Dallas' 3600 officers; Assistant Chief Danny Garcia, a 31 year veteran of the DPD and Bureau Commander for Personnel and Internal Affairs: Assistant Chief Floyd Simpson in charge of Patrol.

Also on the list: Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo, and former California Highway Patrol Division Commander - a Cuban immigrant and bilingual. Chief Robert Crump, Metro Louisville Kentucky leads 1300 officers and was a former Washington DC Police Commander; Chief Robert Davis came up through the ranks of the San Jose California Police Department to head public safety in a city of one million.

City Manager Mary Suhm will make the decision after considering input from the four panels. Chief David Kunkle retires next month after nearly six years on the job and a steadily declining crime rate.

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