A Letter from Chief Kunkleto DPD
Today I am announcing my retirement as Chief of the Dallas Police Department effectiveApril 30, 2010. I have made the decision to leave this job I love because I believe it isboth the right time for me and, more importantly, the right time for the Department.ThisFriday I turn 59 years old and in February I will have had 38 years in public servicewhich began when I first joined the Dallas Police Department in 1972.WhenI considered applying for this position, I was aware that DPD faced significantchallenges. A high crime rate, poor morale, lagging public support, and a recent “fakedrug” scandal were some of the issues. I spoke to some of my DPD colleagues. Theybelievedthat Dallasofficers were the finest in the countryand ifgiven a chance to proveit, they would shine through. I have found over the past five and a half years that thisadvice was the truest I ever received.As I look back over my tenure, it seems appropriate to note some of the changes andsuccesses that we have realized. While I am very proud of these accomplishments, it’simportant to point out that none of them could have been achieved without the hard work,dedication, and commitment displayed by our officers and non sworn personnel.Ibelieve I’ve been more the beneficiary rather than the cause of much of this success.-The end of 2009 will mark the 6
consecutive year of overall crime reduction.Crimes per capita have been reduced from almost 90 per thousand in 2004 toapproximately 62 per thousand this year –a 30% decrease.-Over 700 officers have been added during the last 5 years –a 24% increase indepartmental strength.-Response times to emergency and prompt calls have decreased dramatically,fromapproximately 18.4 minutesin 2004 to 11.7 minutes this year –a reduction of over 36%.-We established a renewed commitment to beat policing resulting in improvementsto response times as well as increases in citizen satisfaction.-Several policy changes designed to increase officer safety and decrease theirexposure to high risk incidentswere implemented. It would be disingenuous notto acknowledge that some of these changes were unpopular. Increasedrestrictions to the pursuit policy and the elimination of the neck restraint are twoprominent examples. I’m very aware that the unpopularity of such decisionsstems from the innate desire you each possess to apprehend offenders –to “putthe crooks in jail”. I would only ask that these changes be ultimately viewed fromthe perspective with which they were decided –to minimize the risks to ourofficers and citizens.