Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle and City Manager Mary Suhm remain confident in his performance despite a nonbinding no confidence vote by the Dallas Police Department’s largest association, reports the Dallas Morning News. “I’m not really surprised,” Kunkle said. “I don’t know of a group of police officers that are happy with their management, especially in big police departments. Any time a group of police officers subject their chief to this process, you’re going to get a negative vote.” About 900 officers took part in the vote, with 568 voting no confidence. The votes were tallied Friday.
The Dallas Police Association has said it has about 2,400 sworn members. The Police Department has about 3,100 sworn officers, so the total number of no confidence votes accounts for roughly 18 percent of the force. The driving force behind the vote was the anger and frustration some officers expressed over a number of the chief’s decisions, including strictly limiting when officers can chase vehicles and use their Tasers, as well as banning a controversial neck hold that led to the deaths of suspects. Kunkle believes he made the right decisions in each of those cases and that he tries to balance the difficult and competing demands of officers and the community. The last Dallas chief who faced a no confidence vote was Billy Prince, who served from 1982 to 1988. That vote was prompted by the firing of an officer in the fatal shooting of a 70-year-old woman.