Ulysha Renee Hall will make history in Dallas in September, when she becomes the Texas city’s first female police chief.
Hall, 46, currently deputy chief of the Detroit Police Department, was selected from a field of seven finalists that included another woman, Deputy Chief Carmen Best of Seattle.
Hall followed in her father’s footsteps by choosing a career in law enforcement. He was killed in the line of duty when she was just 6 months old.
Now, Hall will head a Dallas force that’s still coping with the tragedy of July 7, 2016, when a sniper killed five city officers and wounded nine others, as well as two civilians.
Those shootings – by a veteran who had served in Afghanistan — were believed to be an act of retaliation against police officers. They closely followed two high-profile cases, in Minnesota and Louisiana, in which police officers had fatally shot black men.
Hall, who is African-American, will succeed former Dallas Police Chief David Brown, also African-American, who retired shortly after the tragic shootings.
Brown recently tweeted his support for the selection of Hall.
“I am so honored to be able to serve as the next police chief of the city of Dallas,” said Hall during a press conference. “The men and women of Dallas are my priority — that they have my unwavering support.”
“We do know that, historically, law enforcement is predominantly male, but so were so many other professions years ago,” said Hall, who encouraged young women to pursue a career in law enforcement.
She added that women can bring a different approach to the job than men, offering “that special something to law enforcement that truly, truly calms the savage beast.”
“We kind of do it a little different, a little better. We’re a little bit more nurturing by nature,” Hall said.