DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Some are sad. Others are optimistic. But almost everyone in Dallas is still surprised by the big announcement Thursday that Chief David Brown would be stepping down as the leader of the Dallas Police Department. With the agency now searching for a new chief, people seem to be pleased with the blueprint that Brown is leaving behind.
Brown's upcoming retirement was the biggest talker at seven 'Coffee With Cops' events across the city on Friday morning. The brew was hot, but the conversation was even hotter. Dallas residents were eager to serve up their thoughts on the police chief's impending departure.
"I really think he's a good leader, but I'm sure they'll get another good leader," said Louise Tarrant at one of the Friday events in Dallas. "I have that much faith in our police department."
"He was a steady hand during a difficult time," said Michael Swaldi. "I have no idea why he's stepping down, but he'll be sorely missed."
The news broke on Thursday afternoon, and Mayor Mike Rawlings quickly held a press conference to make it all official. "We wanted to pace this out and do it in the right way," he explained. "July 7th happened and we kind of forgot about that. He told me, once he started talking about it with his wife and praying about it, he said this fall would be a good time to leave."
"It's good timing," said Sara Mokuria from Mothers Against Police Brutality. "He's now leaving a hero versus a villain."
In a written statement, Brown said that he became a police officer 33 years ago to "be part of the solution." He had witnessed the toll that crack cocaine was taking on his Oak Cliff neighborhood, and he wanted to do something about the problem rather than let it slide.
Brown will be leaving at the end of October. He plans to speak about his decision later this month. Meanwhile, many people in Dallas have become united in their hope that the next police chief will continue to bring the city together.
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