DALLAS — The Dallas Police Department has a new police chief.

Sources told WFAA that City Manager T.C. Broadnax has hired Detroit Deputy Chief Ulysha Renee Hall, who will be the first female to serve as police chief in Dallas.

“I am honored to be chosen to lead the Dallas Police Department at this critical time in its history,” Hall said in a statement released Wednesday. “I look forward to building on the successes of the past, preserving community trust and ensuring the safety of our officers and the entire Dallas community.”

During her time with the Detroit Police Department, Hall established and oversaw a neighborhood policing program to build bridges between minority communities and officers. According to a city of Dallas statement, Detroit saw a 40-year low in homicides and "double-digit reductions in violent crime for three consecutive years" during her time with the department.

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Hall's father, Officer Ulysses Brown, was killed in the line of duty on Aug. 20, 1971, in Detroit. She was just 6 months old at the time, according to Detroit's ABC station WXYZ

Brown was working for a unit formed to crackdown on prostitution when he was shot dead by an unknown assailant, the Detroit station reported.

"My father not being there meant the same thing as every other child in Detroit or around the world growing up without a father," she told WXYZ. "It has an impact."

Almost 26 years later, her father's murder remains one of Detroit's oldest unsolved cases.

At the age of 29, she began her service with the Detroit Police Department. 

There were eight finalists to replace former Chief David Brown.

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One of the finalists, Chief Steve Dye, of Grand Prairie, dropped out.

The list included Dallas Deputy Chiefs Malik Aziz and Rick Watson, Dallas Assistant Chief Gary Tittle, Seattle Deputy Chief Carmen Best, Detroit Deputy Chief U. Renee Hall, Los Angeles First Assistant Chief Michel Moore and Assistant Chief Luther Reynolds of Montgomery County, MD.

The city launched a nationwide search after Brown retired in October.

The candidates toured the city last week and met with citizens, police associations and the Dallas City Council.

Broadnax listened to people’s viewpoints but the decision was his to make.

The new chief faces big challenges, including low morale, failing pensions and a dwindling police department.

Broadnax went to the council to ask for a higher salary to pay the new chief.

WFAA's Marjorie Owens contributed to this report.

Read related Tribune coverage:

  • Watch Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith's interview of David Brown on the KLRU-TV program "Overheard with Evan Smith." [Full story]

  • The July ambush of police officers in downtown Dallas was one of the highest-profile examples of the intense community-law enforcement divide in 2016. [Full story]

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