Galveston council approves hiring of Dallas' police official as new chief
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Vernon Hale, the deputy police chief of the Dallas Police Department, will become Galveston city's next chief on Jan. 2, 2018.

The Galveston City Council has unanimously approved the selection of Vernon Hale, a deputy chief of police with the Dallas Police Department, as the island city's next police chief.

Hale, 47, who has served in the Dallas Police Department since 1992, will start his new job on Jan. 2. He will succeed Police Chief Rick Boyle, who announced his retirement in February.

Council members and city officials were effusive in their praise for Hale, a devotee of community policing.

"I feel like he will be a great addition to the Galveston Police Department," said City Manager Brian Maxwell. "He has big shoes to fill with Chief Boyle retiring, but I think we might end up with the best police chief we've ever had here."

The council's approval of Hale's hiring follows a lengthy search that included as many as 46 candidates. Hale was selected over two other finalists, retired Houston Police Department Executive Assistant Chief George Buenik and Galveston City Marshal Michael Gray.

"We went through a pretty long, arduous interview process. We ended up with three very, very capable finalists, it was very difficult to make this decision," Maxwell acknowledged.

Maxwell said Hale made a strong impression in his interviews.

"It really felt like after you talk to Mr. Hale for about five minutes, you feel like you've known him his whole life," Maxwell said.

Council members cited Hale's deep commitment to community policing, juvenile outreach and his knowledge of pension reforms, which Hale said was a "bad word" -- a wry reference to his involvement in the Dallas Police Department's hard-fought pension fixes.

Hale will soon leave his post as deputy chief of police of the Southeast Patrol Division. Hale led the police department's narcotics division from 2014 to 2016, and now serves as commander of the Dallas Underwater Recovery Team. He is also an adjunct professor at several universities in the Dallas area.

Dressed sharply in a charcoal gray suit, Hale said he would embark on a months-long "listening tour" around Galveston. A motorcycle enthusiast, Hale has frequented Galveston's motorcycle rally and jokingly asked for some sponsors for a Mardi Gras float.

Hale discussed his commitment to community policing, a strategy that focuses on engagement and building ties with the community to help prevent crime.

"Any chief that can tell you they can arrest their way out of crime is an idiot, I don't know what else to tell you," Hale said. "The jails won't hold enough people. It's not going to rehabilitate people and they're gonna come back at some point. The community is our eyes and ears, we will never be everywhere, we will never have enough cops to be everywhere and so you have to have the community engagement piece where the people tell us who the real criminals are."

Hale added that the listening sessions would extend to his own department. He said he would work hard to recruit and retain officers and keep morale high.

"The one thing I know I'll do is give [the officers] a person who loves them, cares about them and to give them a work environment that, even if they have the opportunity to do something bigger, that they're gonna look me in the eye and make a tough decision because I'm gonna make it hard for them to leave."

Hale will be paid $130,000 a year, plus $2,500 year in residency pay if he chooses to live on the island.



Comments:
Congrats, wishing you great success !
Posted by Big Al at 12/19/2017 5:15:11 PM

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