Dallas Police Chief David Brown, who was quite vocal about the community’s mistrust when it came to his police department, is retiring.
“There’s a lot of context, and a historical perspective, when it relates to police-community relationships, particularly in communities of color. And some of the distrust has been earned by our department over the years,” he told WNYC back in November 2014. “We’ve done a really good job over many, many years in making amends, creating trust, creating a relationship where we can really have a great dialogue. But I just feel that our relationships are so fragile and hard-earned and so easy to lose that we can’t let our guard down.”
At that time, the department launched a new website that catalogued every officer-involved shooting since 2003 to regain the community’s trust and to be transparent. So when Johnson went on a shooting rampage, it was a difficult pill for the department to swallow, among all the obvious reasons, this was a community that had a positive relationship with police.
On July 7, 2016, Micah Xavier Johnson ambushed and fired upon a group of police officers in Dallas, killing five officers and injuring nine others. Today, the Dallas Police Department is facing another crisis. Their board of trustees made some really bad, high-risk investments that have negatively affected the pension fund for both the fire and police department. It has reportedly spurred retirement requests.
Brown surprised the department on September 1 when he announced his last day with the force would be on October 22, and later moved the date up to October 4.
Ron Pinkston, the head of the department’s largest police union, announced his retirement also effective October 4. Pinkston has been vocal about his departure saying, city leaders are “running off talented officers” with bad pay and benefits and “Dallas is on a dangerous path toward a future marred [by] fear and violence.”
Here’s what he said of his pension in an interview with a local TV station: “I wanted to make sure that I was able to move it and get it invested somewhere safe. I don’t know anything anybody else doesn’t know that has been doing their homework. And hopefully, everybody that’s in my position, that’s thinking about it, is doing their homework, is checking their numbers.”
Kelly Gottschalk became the executive director in 2015 after the fund’s previous executive director resigned over the investment scandal. In short, the “police and fire pension fund spent almost a decade basing its financial health on artificially inflated asset values from risky real estate investments.”