Rawlins Gilliland on Particia Paulhill – DPD Southeast Division Chief

Rawlins Gilliland -who took me on an excellent tour of Southeast Dallas on Wednesday- wrote a nice article last weekend about Dallas Police Department Southeast Division Chief Patricia Paulhill. It’s easy to tell how much respect he has for the African-American female who is making things happen in Southeast Dallas.

You can read  Rawlins’  entire article here which appeared in last Saturday’s Dallas Morning News. I’d like to post a few excerpts:

  • I had originally met Kunkle in his office after being exonerated by a 2006 Dallas jury following a predatory false arrest during former Chief Terrell Bolton’s era. After that experience, I joined the ranks of those who applaud Kunkle as an accessible and reasoned man with sufficient honor to redefine my hometown’s sense of justice.
  • Then I spotted among the uniformed mourners Patricia Paulhill, four-year deputy chief of the volatile Southeast Division, a trailblazer who has become a celebrated hero to many. Including me.  Why, I thought, do we only hear about police officers when the department fires the bad ones or buries a good one?

  • When I first met Paulhill at a 2005 Piedmont/Scyene Homeowner’s meeting, she struck me as a new-age post-feminist wonder woman, powerful yet kind. Even with her hands on her holster, she looked like a tough and caring schoolmaster demanding scholastic achievement from her under-performing students. Who could not find that an arresting development?
  • Patricia Ann Paulhill, from Shiro, Texas (population 200), joined the force in 1981 “on impulse, after seeing a TV cop show.” By 1985, she had become the first black female SWAT team member – and told her first morning by her senior squad officer that “no one wants you here.” In 1992, she became SWAT’s first female commander. Bull’s-eye.

  • Southeast was once the highest call-load crime stat depot in the city. In 2008, it ranked second only to downtown’s Central District in boasting the highest reduction of overall crime among Dallas’ seven police divisions.  Says Paulhill, “The old perception is not the new reality.”

  • And no mean feat for a woman who, according to Kunkle, was “a well-respected, knowledgeable and no-nonsense lieutenant for 16 years.” Later assigned to the Internal Affairs Division, she was “someone who would respect the citizens of Southeast Dallas and gain their trust.”  Does this happiest warrior see herself as a role model? “I’m a woman and I’m black, and if that inspires anyone, that inspires me,” she says.

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