Dallas Police Chief David Brown, who was thrust into the national spotlight during the July sniper attack that left five officers dead, has announced his retirement, the Associated Press reports.
According to AP, Brown issued a statement Thursday announcing that he will retire Oct. 22 after serving the Dallas force for 33 years, six of those as chief. The chief, who will turn 56 this year, did not give a reason for his retirement, but both the mayor and city manager insisted at a news conference that he was not being forced to leave.
"I became a Dallas cop in 1983 because of the crack cocaine epidemic's impact on my neighborhood," Brown said in the statement. "I wanted to be part of the solution. Since that time, I have taken great pride in knowing that we have always been part of the solution and helped to make Dallas the world-class city it is today."
As AP notes, Brown was thrust into the national spotlight after leading his department of more than 3,600 officers in its response to the July 7 ambush that left five officers dead. However, the chief has also faced criticism during his tenure.
USA Today notes that police unions called for him to resign earlier this year after he made scheduling changes to fight the city's rising homicide rate. The city also came under scrutiny more recently because many officers were leaving for other departments in surrounding cities for better pay.
Mayor Mike Rawlings said that Brown was "leaving on his own terms," adding that the announcement did not come as a surprise, since Brown had told him and several other officials months ago that he had been considering retirement as six years as the chief of a metropolitan police force is an "eternity."
In addition, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said of Brown: "At no time was his exemplary leadership more evident than in the aftermath of the heinous shooting of law-enforcement officers this July in Dallas. Thanks to his unwavering commitment to protecting his community, Dallas has emerged even stronger."
Brown said that he would address the media further on Sept. 8. Executive Assistant Chief David Pughes will be interim chief when Brown leaves.