Getting to Know Interim Chief David Pughes

Growing up in Colorado, David Pughes knew from an early age that he wanted to follow a career in law enforcement. A high school career day that featured presentations by a patrol officer and a detective sealed the deal for Pughes. Luckily for Pughes, the Dallas Police Department recruiting team came to Colorado looking for new applicants.

Pughes applied for the Dallas Police Department and hired on in November of 1990. After graduating first in his academy class, his first assignment was at the Central Division where he patrolled the streets for several years before he promoted and became a detective in the department’s Youth Division. As a sergeant, Pughes spent time at Southwest Patrol and then returned back to the Youth Division as a supervisor. When he promoted to Lieutenant, Pughes worked in the Northwest and Southeast Patrol stations.

Pughes was then assigned for a year and half to research and reform the department’s eyewitness identification policy. The study led to drastic policy changes for the department which garnered attention by the national media. The Dallas Police Department’s eyewitness identification reform policy was used as a model for the rest of the country.

Once the project was over, Pughes was transferred to the Crimes Against Persons Unit. A couple of years later he was promoted to Deputy Chief where he was commander over the Northwest Patrol Division.

The department called on Pughes again when the training academy needed reform. Chief Pughes completely reorganized the academy and overhauled its standard operating procedures. This reform put the academy back on track with the state standards for police training. He was promoted a year later to Executive Assistant Chief where he would oversee the Strategic Deployment and Patrol Bureaus.

Pughes is straightforward about his future on the department. He said he does not plan to apply for the Chief of Police job when it opens. He values his current position where he can be more deeply involved in the operational aspects of the department and its community engagement efforts. Chief Pughes said he wants to keep the focus on community policing. He believes it is vital for the department to continue to engage with citizens and build trust in the community.

Pughes has his hands full at home raising two teenage daughters with his wife. If he is not working out, you may catch him riding dirt bikes or keeping up with his favorite football teams, the Dallas Cowboys and the Denver Broncos.

Chief Pughes says he is proud of the work and sacrifices made by Dallas Police officers everyday protecting the citizens of Dallas and each other. Taking over as the department’s interim chief, Pughes says, “I view public safety as a shared responsibility and we are all in this together.”