The city of Dallas will host the first of three public forums tonight to receive input on the selection of a new police chief. David Kunkle, who’s been chief for the last 5 1/2 years, announced his resignation in November. In addition to the community forums, the city is conducting on online survey. The survey, which can be found here, asks respondents to rank the three most important qualities they’d like to see in a new chief, and one of the eight options is “Commitment to Diversity.”
Damien Duckett, chairman of the Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance’s political action committee, said Kunkle has been an “amazing” chief, and he expressed confidence that City Manager Mary Suhm will find a good replacement.
“I think that the person in charge of that selection is very capable of making a sound decision in regard to somebody who would be fair and open to our community’s issues,” Duckett said.
Those issues include things like DGLA’s diversity training for new recruits, the department’s LGBT community liaison officer position, and crime in the Oak Lawn area. Duckett, a leader of Dallas’ newly formed citizens task force on LGBT issues, indicated that the group is working on a proposal to expand the liaison officer position. DPD’s LGBT liaison officer, Laura Martin, is currently assigned to a full-time bicycle patrol at White Rock Lake.
Tonight’s forum is from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the L1FN Auditorium at City Hall.