DALLAS, TX – On Monday, February 16, 2015, newly elected Dallas County District Attorney Susan Hawk held her first town hall meeting at Concord Baptist Church in Southern Dallas. After a prayer by Concord Church’s Senior Pastor, Bryan Carter, the meeting opened with a few brief remarks by Senator Royce West who then introduced the new District Attorney. The meeting allowed citizens to ask questions, make recommendation or just voice their concerns directly to Judge Hawk.
“My hope is for the community to get to know me and for me to get to know the community,” Hawk said. “My job is just to bring everyone to the table, to listen, and to formulate fair, balanced, effective solutions for the challenges we face – and specifically the challenge of rebuilding the trust between law enforcement and our communities,” Hawk continued.
The meeting discussion was broken into three main topics; Building Trust, Equal Justice and Domestic Violence. Each topic had questions that the District Attorney asked the audience of around 150 persons. The audience also had the opportunity to submit a question on index cards as they entered the hall. Finally, open microphones allowed impromptu questions and comments.
“Due to the Ferguson shooting and other incidents, I felt it was critical that the DA’s office open this dialogue in Southern Dallas,” Hawk said.
Questions and comments ranged from teaching children how to interact with police officers, to changing cultures inside the police departments themselves. During the discussion, Judge Hawk invited Dallas Deputy Police Chief Malik Aziz to take the podium and speak about the outreach programs in effect in Dallas. Aziz praised the efforts of Chief Brown to get to the children early and let them know that the police are not their or the community’s enemies.
“We appreciate District Attorney Susan Hawk’s efforts to connect with the citizens of Dallas through this town hall meeting, and the opportunity to discuss some of the important issues in our community,” said Pastor Carter.