Garcia Agrees To Stay On as Dallas Police Chief

Chief Eddie Garcia
Chief Eddie Garcia | Image by Dallas Police Department/Facebook

Interim City Manager Kimberly Tolbert announced on Thursday that Eddie Garcia has agreed to remain Dallas’ police chief through at least May 2027.

“This was complicated, but we got it done,” Tolbert said in a statement. “If this was NFL Football, we were able to keep Chief Garcia on the Dallas Team; he’s the right quarterback to lead our police department. We certainly didn’t want to lose him to free agency.”

Just three days ago, Dallas City Council Member Cara Mendelsohn (District 12) said at the start of a Public Safety Committee meeting that the city manager’s office was working on a deal to keep Garcia in Dallas after reports surfaced that Austin and Houston officials were potentially interested in hiring him.

“Chief Garcia has earned the respect and trust of the city council, of the police force, and the community through his strong leadership skills, his hard work, professionalism, and excellence,” she said. “Our charter does not allow the city council or mayor to negotiate a contract or employment terms. So, we leave that to Deputy City Manager [Jon] Fortune, to interim City Manager Tolbert, and our City attorney, Tammy Palomino.”

Garcia signed an “addendum” to the offer letter he received from the City of Dallas in December 2020. That agreement keeps his annual salary at $306,440.40. But beginning in November, he will receive a retention bonus of $10,000 every six months through May 2027.

“To live and work in Dallas is to love Dallas,” Garcia said in the release. “This is the right place to complete my service, and I know your police officers are honored to serve Dallas residents. We will keep doing our jobs with excellence and results.”

Under the terms of the agreement:

Garcia has committed to remaining chief of police in Dallas at least until May 2027.

If any city manager in the next three years terminates him “for convenience,” Garcia will be paid a year’s salary. If he voluntarily resigns or is terminated for his individual work performance or is convicted of an offense “of moral turpitude or a felony criminal act,” he will not receive severance.

Garcia has agreed to help Dallas officials in the selection of his successor when that time comes.

In early 2021, Garcia was appointed by then-City Manager T.C. Broadnax, who became Austin’s city manager this month. The 30th chief of police in Dallas, he served in the same position in San Jose, California, before coming to DFW. As covered by The Dallas Express, he was but one of many Californian officers to head to the Lone Star State these past few years.

During his time in Dallas, Garcia has implemented a violent crime reduction plan, worked with state lawmakers to make it a felony to remove ankle monitors, overseen the development of the City’s crime analytics dashboard, worked to improve police response times, and tried to mend the relationship between residents and police.

“Chief Garcia’s dedication to Dallas has been invaluable in driving significant improvement in our city’s public safety,” Mayor Eric Johnson said in a statement.

“His leadership and data-driven strategies have led to record decreases in violent crime and have fostered trust throughout the Dallas community. Chief Garcia’s decision to continue serving Dallas speaks volumes about our city. I … look forward to our continued partnership in serving the residents of Dallas, and I have full confidence that, together, we will continue to make significant strides as we work to make Dallas the safest big city in America.”

While the Dallas Police Department has made significant gains in reducing violent crime, despite its staffing shortage of roughly 1,000 officers, property crime has consistently risen over the last few years, The Dallas Express has reported. The officer deficit is particularly apparent downtown, which regularly outpaces Fort Worth’s city center when it comes to criminal activity.

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