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Retired DFW police chief and wife worried for Texas friends

Posted at 6:47 PM, Jul 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-08 21:47:22-04

A retired Dallas-Fort Worth police chief is speaking out, after a long night of desperate phone calls to former coworkers and friends. 

"There was no sleep last night at all," says retired Fort Worth police chief, Jeff Halstead.  "I spent a lot of the night trying to console my friends back in north Texas." 

Halstead says he was shocked watching videos of Thursday's events, knowing that the officers under attack were the same men and women he worked with just a couple years ago.  

"My wife looked at me because she knew, instantaneously, that I was going back in time," says Halstead. "I wanted to be there and run that event." 

"We're all terrified," says Halstead's wife, Kim. "We just want the craziness to stop."

Jeff and his wife Kim now live in the Las Vegas valley, but they spent several years in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. 

Friday, Halstead has been in constant contact with the Dallas Police Department's Chief of Police David Brown. 

"As a chief, when you walk back into work, everyone is waiting for your words of encouragement and support," says Halstead. 

Kim Halstead says her heart broke for the families and spouses of the Dallas officers who wouldn't be returning home.

"I guess that's the difficult part of being a spouse of a police officer," says Kim.  "Knowing that every day, there is that possibility." 

Jeff says in his career, he was shot at three separate times, and dealt with spin-off protests from the LA riots in the 1990s. 

"I remember the hatred," says Halstead.  "To be targeted and attacked, you wonder where it's coming from." 

"We send them out the door and try to remain strong, and let them know how much we love them," says Kim.

Jeff says he spent his career, and now his time in retirement, trying to bridge that gap between law enforcement and those who don't trust them.  He and his wife have created a non-profit organization, Hope 4 Blue, they hope can help protect and support law enforcement and their families.  

He says combating violence with violence, like what happened Thursday night in Dallas, is not the answer. 

"Even the people who are critical of police, we can bring them in and listen to them, and make sure that we can police more professionally and better in the future, but definitely not by going about it this way," says Halstead.