Five months after taking the helm of the Dallas Police Department, Chief Renee Hall has passed her state certification test, the chief announced Thursday in a tweet.
“Passed!” she said, accompanied by a photo of herself in a Dallas Police uniform.
The Dallas Police Department also hit social media with a tweet: “Congrats to @ChiefHallDPD on a job well done with the TCOLE exam. Glad to have you in uniform!”
Hall had not been able to wear the Dallas police uniform without passing the state’s 250-question exam. The delay fueled questions regarding her status, including unsubstantiated rumors that she was resigning.
Instead, the reason for the hold up was a paperwork mistake. Hall in August submitted incomplete papers to the state, causing a delay.
The city insisted in a press release that she had submitted her paperwork to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) in a “timely” fashion.
Regardless of the reason for the wait, “I think as a city when she was selected and knew she would have to sit for that state exam, we should have given her time to study rather than being an active police chief immediately,” City Council member Jennifer Staubach Gates told The Texas Monitor. “We would have avoided all of this if when we hired her we had said ‘you are not going to be active until you pass this.’”
After submitting the correct paperwork to the state, TCOLE gave her the go ahead to proceed with the exam on November 1.
Michael Mata, head of the Dallas Police Association, the union representing the rank-and-file, told the Dallas Morning News that “passing the test will eliminate one of the rank-and-file’s biggest complaints about their leader because “your leader needs to look like you.”
Mata noted that the department has problems, lamenting the diminished number of officers in the department.
The chief “was handed a big plate that she had no fault in, but now she’s having to fix it,” Mata told the Morning News.
Hall came to the department after 18 years at the Detroit Police Department.
Steve Miller can be reached at [email protected]