Answering reporters' questions for nearly an hour Thursday, Dallas Police Chief David Brown explained why he's retiring and what's next for him after his last day on Oct. 22.
After 33 years with the Dallas Police Department, Brown says, "It's time to go." During his time with the department, he has served in several capacities and feels like he's accomplished the goal of serving the community. Secondly, he says, police chiefs in Dallas and in the U.S. have a "shelf life." He's been police chief going on seven years.
Brown emphasized he's not retiring because of the July 7 ambush in downtown Dallas. He had been in talks with city leaders for about a year regarding his retirement. But, he says the notoriety that followed July 7 has felt "self-serving" and "uncomfortable" to him and that he doesn't want to be something different than a public servant.
"The idea of being untouchable has not felt right to me," he said.
What's Next For Brown?
Brown says he's been receiving opportunities, and he's weighing options and praying about it. But, he did not share any more details. His response to any question regarding his plans: "That’s between me and my baby."
He says he's going "to continue to be naïve about what I can do."
Brown says working with Dallas police officers has been best part of his experience. "I’m proud to have served with such honorable men and women."
Watch the press conference below (courtesy of NBC DFW)
He Doesn't Want To 'Write His Own Legacy'
Brown talked about his decision to drop out his senior year at the University of Texas to attend to the needs of his Oak Cliff neighborhood. He felt restless and couldn't focus at school because of his concern for friends and family back home. His first beat was his own neighborhood, he says.
"There wasn’t a summer where I came back where I [didn't see] deterioration [due to] the drug trade."
He’s retiring with the satisfaction that he accomplished what he set out to do as a 22-year-old and that he made his mom proud, he says.
Brown says it will be hard to take the uniform off, and that he doesn't want a long goodbye. He’s looking forward to spending time with family and devoting time to hobbies and long-distance vacations.
The press conference closed with a song from Stevie Wonder. He quoted the musician during the Dallas memorial for the five fallen police officers on July 9.
Brown Announced His Retirement Sept. 1
A week after he announced his retirement, Dallas Police Chief David Brown offered more details during a press conference at Dallas police headquarters Thursday.
His announcement came nearly two months after a lone gunman carried out an ambush on police as a peaceful protest in downtown Dallas was ending. Five officers were killed and nine were injured in the July 7 attack. He mentioned the fallen officers in his blog post announcing his retirement:
Let’s always remember the fallen officers including the five officers on July 7, 2016, and the brave men and women of the Dallas Police Department for their sacrifices to keep Dallas safe. Their memory will remain with all of us forever. I know the people of Dallas will never forget the ultimate sacrifice they made on the streets of our city that awful night.
Brown has been police chief since 2010. He joined the force in 1983, motivated by the impact the crack cocaine epidemic had on his Oak Cliff neighborhood. He has since served as a patrol officer, investigator, deputy chief and first assistant chief of operations.
City officials say Brown is Dallas' longest-serving police chief in more than 50 years.
Brown will retire on Oct. 22. Assistant Chief David Pughes will serve as interim police chief as the department conducts a national search for candidates.
Mayor Mike Rawlings and City Manager A.C. Gonzalez answered immediate questions about Brown's announcement in a press conference on Sept. 1.