Should we be excited, cautious or both? You decide, Dallas.
So who is this guy? Chief Garcia served at the San Jose Police Department over three decades before being chosen from a diverse selection of candidates to serve as Police Chief of Dallas, the 9th largest Police Department in the US.
Garcia was hired to replace Chief U. Renee Hall, who announced she was leaving in September. Why is she leaving? Well that’s still debatable…
Support from Dallas City Council was completely nonexistent and the support of the community seemed to diminish after the protests erupted last summer. A local group of citizens even suggested Chief Hall had an ongoing affair with local ‘activist’ Dominique Alexander because he seemed to have a seat at the table anytime Police reform was discussed. Alexander has no policy experience or relevant legal knowledge but he did enjoy a good amount of fame (and probably fortune) that Dallas activism often brings. As far as we know, this story is just another made up bit of juicy and likely untrue Dallas gossip, but it’s an interesting gauge of how the community views the old Chief. Maybe it was the media scrutiny that finally led to her resignation, maybe it was the lack of support, maybe it was Maybelline…we may never know. Whatever the reason, majority of Dallas residents are welcoming the new Chief with open arms.
“I’m not a stay in the office chief,” incoming Dallas police Chief Eddie Garcia said in an introduction video sent to the department.
Officer Garcia will be the first Latino Police Chief for the city and we must admit, it’s about time. Given the large Latino population, this is one barrier we probably should have broken long ago. Nonetheless, it’s a welcomed change for most Dallas residents. Onward and upward we say. Good luck Chief!
Mayor Eric Johnson released a statement on the hiring of Garcia:
“I spoke this afternoon with our new police chief, Eddie Garcia, and congratulated him on his selection by the city manager. I hope the people of Dallas will join me in giving him and his family a warm welcome. He will join us after spending four years as the police chief in the 10th-largest city in the country, and he was highly regarded by my counterpart in San Jose, Mayor Sam Liccardo.
“We should celebrate the fact that Chief Garcia will become our first Hispanic police chief. This truly is an historic moment for Dallas.
“But we both understand that what truly matters now is the work ahead of us: making our communities safer and stronger. I expect that he will immediately begin developing plans to fight the unacceptable violent crime increases we have seen in Dallas. We will need our communities’ help in those efforts. Too many lives have been taken in our city. Too many families have been devastated by violence. And too many people in our neighborhoods feel unsafe.
“Law enforcement alone cannot solve the challenges we face, but the hardworking men and women of the Dallas Police Department are integral to combating violence, which disproportionately affects people of color in our city. As policymakers, we must give Chief Garcia the tools that his officers need to keep people safe and continue to push for solutions — such as the programs recommended by the Mayor’s Task Force on Safe Communities — that can prevent crime without placing additional burdens on the police department. The people of Dallas deserve a city government that puts public safety first.
“I want to thank all the candidates who embraced the challenge of working for the City of Dallas. I look forward to seeing Chief Garcia’s new strategies in action in the months ahead. Working together, we will strive to make Dallas the safest major city in the United States.”
What are your thoughts on the new Chief? Comment below!