Dallas has a new top cop, and now its up to us to help him succeed – The Dallas Morning News

Posted: December 26, 2020 at 3:57 pm


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San JosePolice Chief Eddie Garcia tells a crowd of reporters on Friday that a San Jose patrol officer fired at least one bullet that struck and killed the man who took a UPS driver hostage inside his truck, forced the driver to flee from police and sheriffs deputies on a chase across San Jose, and thenled a standoff for more than an hour on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019.

With Wednesdays announcement that Eddie Garcia will be Dallas new top cop, City Manager T.C. Broadnax ended the search for a new chief of police and began the task of launching a new chiefs tenure. That is a task that the rest of the city must join, for it is in all of our interests to have a successful police department.

Garcia, who will be the first Hispanic top cop in Dallas history, will likely now face a much closer public inspection than hes had thus far. At a moment when police chiefs increasingly face issues raised this summer following the killing of George Floyd, anyone taking this job would likely see his leadership critiqued, as well as praised.

As a nearly 30-year veteran and recently retired police chief of San Jose, Calif., there is a lot for the public to sort through. Hes faced difficult situations, including dealing with police shootings and transparency issues.

Hes also won the support of our city manager while he competed with a highly credentialed field of applicants. And his personal story is compelling. Born in Puerto Rico, Garcia moved to California, learned English and rose to run the police department in a city he came to see as his hometown.

As we glean insights into his leadership, it seems clear that he has a realistic view of heading a department as large as DPD that polices a city as large and diverse as Dallas. It wont be possible to please everyone. But it will be possible to do whats required and that is to ably lead the 3,000 men and women in blue who will be under his command so that they can do their best work while also offering leadership that fosters public trust. That trust needs to be built, of course, on the work of a million interactions between cops on the street and the people of Dallas. And that work can also build on reforms outlined by a KPMG study and other work aimed at enhancing efficient policing, reducing response times, solving crimes and most of all making us safer.

In addition to such work, wed encourage Garcia to quickly forge relationships with the mayor, district attorney, neighboring police forces and federal law enforcement officers, including whoever is appointed to be our U.S. attorney along with residents and community leaders in every corner of the city.

One component of the job of our top cop will not be completely within Garcias control, and that is where the rest of the city comes in. The new chief will face criticism; its both natural and healthy for a vibrant society to hold leaders accountable. But every criticism isnt a fair assessment of performance, and every mistake isnt an indication of overall failure. Whats incumbent upon leaders across the city and residents from all corners of our community is to consider what success looks like from our new chief of police and engage in our system of government to work toward that success.

There will be a lot placed on the new chief. Whats expected of us now is to press for changes where they are needed, support police efforts to foster public trust where its lacking and expand it where it already exists, and offer a generosity in spirit in helping the new chief gain his footing and succeed in the role we, as a city, have hired him to fulfill.

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Dallas has a new top cop, and now its up to us to help him succeed - The Dallas Morning News

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December 26th, 2020 at 3:57 pm

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