DALLAS NEEDS IN A NEW POLICE CHIEF
||On March 29th, I was on the list of eight
finalists for the Police Chief?s position in Dallas. The professional management
consultant hired by the City and the City Manager?s Office
and Human Resources Department developed the final ?List of Eight? after meeting
with and agreeing on the best candidates
who merited advancement to the formal
|The next day, an expanded
list of twelve ?finalists? was released to the public and my name was not
included. At least two others who were also
informed that they were on the ?List of Eight? were not on the expanded list of
twelve. To date, the details of why this
happened remain a mystery.
For the last seven months, I have talked with and listened to
hundreds of police officers, individually and in groups, met with dozens of
community and business leaders and visited with scores of honest, hardworking
citizens of Dallas. In addition, I poured over the minutiae of a 300 million
dollar police budget, examined personnel assignment rosters, organizational
charts and policy manuals. While identifying problems and solutions, I prepared
to demonstrate my knowledge and qualifications for the Chief?s position in the
formal interview process.
I am no stranger to the executive selection process. I was a
finalist for the Dallas chief?s position in 1988 and was later selected to serve
as Chief of Police in two other large cities. I knew that one of the first
questions in any professional interview would be ?What do you believe are the
skills and qualities that we need in our next Chief of Police??
Given the opportunity, this would have been my
First, above all other qualities, Dallas needs a leader
Chief who, by personal skills and experience is able to lead, inspire,
motivate, inform and train the Dallas Police Department to restore pride in the
organization, build morale and regain the trust of the citizens.
A Chief who knows that he must first
concentrate on improving the working conditions of the field officers,
investigators and front-line supervisors who will be called upon to implement
the improvements and plans necessary to achieve the goals that are collectively
A Chief who is open, honest and forthright in
dealing with people and issues that affect the quality of life in the city and
inside the police department.
A Chief who will focus the
department back on the basics of crime reduction, call response and community
A Chief who has courage --
who has experience in tackling tough issues, building winning teams and
A Chief who can and will make
tough decisions, is not afraid of criticism, will take responsibility for his
actions and give credit for success to others.
A Chief who is highly educated at both the
college level and through practical experience as a police officer and advanced
A Chief who has achieved
national recognition for his policing skills, creative innovation and command
leadership in difficult assignments.
A Chief who has earned his position by a
succession of competitive promotions through the ranks culminating in being the
police chief of a major city over 200,000 population. There
is no substitute for multiple command position experience and actually being ?THE
A Chief who has command experience in the
hiring, selection and training of recruit police officers --
a Chief with a reputation for establishing quality standards and insuring
that all who aspire to be a Dallas Police Officer meets these standards and that
they are applied equally.
A Chief who is personally known by the men and
women of the Dallas Police Department.
A Chief who the officers
trust, support and will follow his leadership because they know he will take
care of them, support them when they are right and justly correct them when they
A Chief who publicly represents the police
department, city government and the citizens in a professional and competent
manner by his ability to develop comprehensive written documents, establish a
visual command presence and utilize effective verbal communication skills.
A Chief who has command experience in the
planning processes to insure that a quality, respected police department stays
ahead of the curve in acquiring enhanced technology, utilization of creative
innovation and effective use of limited resources to better serve the citizens.
A Chief who ?speaks the language? of the Dallas
Police Department and is knowledgeable about the history, traditions and
structure of both the department and the city -- a
Chief who will not need a long learning adjustment period before beginning to
A Chief who is committed to the job and has a
passionate concern for the Dallas Police Department and the citizens of Dallas
that extends beyond a salary -- a Chief who does the
job not for money or prestige but for the honor and dedication to service that
is his nature.
A Chief who is both confident and caring
-- persuasive and personal -- disciplined and
determined -- a consensus building Chief who knows
that hands-on knowledge acquired in his career and observing others who perform
the actual tasks is worth far more than a hundred staff reports.
needs a Chief whose appointment will energize the outstanding men and women of
the Dallas Police Department, and the citizens of Dallas, with the confidence
and pride that exemplifies a truly great city.
Editor's comments: Chief Stone, Chief Lowell Cannady, Chief Doug Kowalski
were on the first list of 8 recommendations and were cut from the City MisManager's final 12 candidates,
which includes Danny Garcia (a personal friend to Benavides). Ted Benavides has a racial basis and
personal resentment toward White guys who happen to be a lot smarter and more
capable than he has ever been or ever could be. This is a serious loss to
the City of Dallas by not having one of these three qualified and experienced
and former DPD Asst. Chiefs, who have all gone on to serve as Chief of Police in
better managed cities who do not rank as the nation's crime capital. sb