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Chief U. Renee Hall is the first woman to lead the Dallas Police Department in its 136-year history. Undertaking the role last month, she is one of three minority women who hold top law enforcement posts in Dallas County.

Chief Hall’s path to police work was met with some hesitation from her mother. When Hall was just six months old, her father, a 27-year-old Detroit police officer, was killed on the job. While the resistance from her mother was understandable, Hall says that her decision was ultimately supported.

After 18 years on Detroit’s police force and after rising to the rank of Deputy Chief, Hall’s announcement that she was heading to Dallas was a natural progression. A strong advocate of community policing, Hall hopes to bring the crime reduction success she enjoyed in the Motor City down to Dallas.

The Grambling State University and University of Detroit Mercy graduate has big tasks ahead. There have been reports of dissatisfaction among the ranks over officer policies, and there is some concern that a woman leading the male-dominated force could cause friction.

But Hall seems game to take on the task and enjoys the support of her Delta Sigma Theta soror Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson, who has served as an adviser. Along with Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, who also has chipped in with advice, Chief Hall is prepared for the challenge.

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