DALLAS - Thursday’s announcement that Dallas Police Chief David Brown would retire on Oct. 22 wasn’t a surprise, Mayor Mike Rawlings said in a news conference.
Rawlings, who addressed the media roughly two hours after Brown announced his retirement in a police bulletin, said Brown had discussed the decision before an attack that took the lives of five Dallas officers nearly two months ago.
“The Chief had been talking to [City Manager A.C. Gonzalez] for some time about being on the last laps of his career, so it wasn’t a total surprise,” Rawlings said. “We wanted to pace this out and do it the right way. Then [the July 7 attack] happened, and we kind of forgot about that.”
Rawlings touted Brown’s accomplishments over his six years as Dallas’ police chief, the longest tenure of anyone in that role in decades.
“Six years is more than an eternity for a chief of police in a big city,” Rawlings said. “To say that it’s a high-pressure and highly political job would be an understatement.”
Rawlings said the city has “done it the right way” under Brown’s leadership, citing a reduce in deadly force, the distribution of body cameras for Dallas officers and de-escalating training.
The mayor mentioned national attention Brown has garnered for community policing efforts and transparency.
Brown, a 33-year Dallas PD veteran with South Oak Cliff roots, won’t speak publicly until Sept. 8, he said in Thursday’s announcement.
No hint of Brown’s future plans was given, and he didn’t point to a specific reason for his retirement.
Rawlings said seeing Brown go will be like “losing a partner,” but expressed his well-wishes for the chief Thursday.
“Selfishly, I wish Chief David Brown would stay on through June 2019 when I’ll be leaving,” he said with a smile. “But Chief Brown deserves to retire. [...] He needs to spend time with his family and do whatever he wishes at this wonderful time in the next phase of his life.”
Assistant chief David Pughes will step into the role of interim chief of police. The next city manager, following Gonzalez’s retirement in January, will chose a permanent replacement.
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