After being hired in July by the city of Dallas, Police Chief Ulysha Renee Hall, failed to submit the proper legal papers to the state that would pave the way to her obtaining the certification required to become a law enforcement officer in Texas.
According to records obtained by Texas Monitor, Hall in August submitted an incomplete eligibility form to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE). She omitted several key documents including notarized statements from her previous employer, certifications of training and a copy of her current license.
“The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement is returning the…application for the following reasons,” reads the August 30 letter to Hall from TCOLE. “Below, of eight boxes listing application requirements, six are checked.”
The letter signs off: “Please correct and return the entire packet within 30 days.”
Among other things, Hall, who took over as chief in September, failed to have notarized the last page of the eligibility form for out of state applicants, which includes validation of her prior certification and training record in Michigan.
The city has for the past several weeks issued statements that the chief had gone smoothly through the application process and was on track to take her state exam. It has not addressed the lengthy delay between the announcement of her hire and November, when she was given the go-ahead by the state to take the exam.
Hall later completed her application and on November 1 received a notice from the state that she could apply to take her certification test. Applicants are given six months to take the test after approval. They are allowed to take the test three times in those six months.
A press release from the city of Dallas in late November noted “Chief Hall recently received approval from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement to take the Texas peace officers certification exam, and is on track to do so by the end of the year. Following the timely submission, her application documents have taken two months to review, and were approved in early November.”
A city spokeswoman referred an inquiry on the application to Dallas Police Department spokesman Sgt. Warren Mitchell, who declined to comment.
Each state has its own testing for law enforcement.As of early this week, Hall had not taken the 250-question state exam.
“They take a rules test as well, but the exam is taken by everyone,” TCOLE spokeswoman Gretchen Grigsby said. “They have to know how to apply state law to their training.”
Hall came to Dallas after serving for 18 years with the Detroit Police Department, lastly as a deputy chief. She took office on September 5. Hall has impressed onlookers with her quick reorganization plans for the department.
However, her failure to obtain certification in Texas has been a subject of wonder in the city. Hall cannot wear the police uniform until she is certified in the state.
“Chief Hall is preparing for the TCOLE exam,” Assistant City Manager Jon Fortune said in a statement cited by the Dallas Morning News. “The daily demands of running the police department are a priority, and as you can imagine, preparing for the exam is very time-consuming. I’ve encouraged Chief Hall to dedicate some time to properly study and when she feels adequately prepared, then take the exam. I have all the confidence that Chief Hall will take the exam soon.”
Onlookers, pundits and critics can take a stab at a sample test here.
Steve Miller can be reached at [email protected]