As the search for a new Dallas police chief enters its next phase, members of the coalition that pushed to defund the police were invited to participate in the interview process.

This week, Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax announced “top candidates” would be invited to come and interview to be the next chief of police, and that “organizations representing various community and stakeholder groups were invited …  to provide a representative” to sit on one of six interview panels.

Among these “organizations” are the Next Generation Action Network (NGAN) and the Dallas Community Police Oversight Coalition (DCPOC), both of which were involved in organizing the protests-turned-riots in Dallas this summer after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Both are allied with the Texas Organizing Project, whose representatives demanded city council raid $200 million from the police budget this year to spend on other government projects.

NGAN is led by Dominique Alexander, a controversial activist with a history in Dallas city politics. He was involved in the hiring process of outgoing Dallas Police Chief Reneé Hall.

The citizen organization called Keep Dallas Safe, which was formed to fight against the cut to police overtime, was not invited to the interview panel and objected to Alexander’s continued involvement in the hiring process.

“Dominique and several of his followers were allowed to harass, threaten and disrupt our rally attendees and speakers,” KDS wrote, referencing their October rally.

Recently released survey results from the City of Dallas found most respondents trust the Dallas police, with 69 percent saying they want the next police chief to have a track record of “reducing crime and promoting community safety.” Fifty-eight percent said they want someone who “practices transparency and openness.”

Forty-four percent said they want someone who understands “the history of policing in the U.S., including racism and bias,” while just 27 percent want someone who “promotes diversity and gender equity in the workplace.”

In September, Dallas City Council voted to cut $7 million from police overtime and tried to quell citizen objections by using most of it to move 95 police officers from desk work to the street. It failed as citizens still protested the move.

Since then, reports show Dallas is set to have its highest record of murders in 16 years. While citizens have been vocal about the problem and Gov. Greg Abbott has taken action, most of the city council was silent when asked what they intend to do about the crime spike.

Keep Dallas Safe has issued a call to action for citizens to run for Dallas City Council and is interviewing city council candidates on their own.

As we approach the 87th Legislative Session, citizens concerned about their local government not providing law and order may contact their state representative and state senator.

Dallas voters concerned about the hiring of the next chief of police may contact Mayor Johnson and the city council.

This article has been updated since publication. 

Robert Montoya

Born in Houston, Robert Montoya is an investigative reporter for Texas Scorecard. He believes transparency is the obligation of government.