Funeral Arrangements Set for Former DPD Chief David Kunkle

The funeral for former Dallas police chief David Kunkle will be at 10 a.m. July 19 at Sparkman Hillcrest Funeral Home. 

There will be a procession preceding the service from Wolf Street to McKinnon Street, McKinnon to the Dallas North Tollway, the Dallas North Tollway to Northwest Highway, ending at the funeral home at 7405 Northwest Highway. The service will be live-streamed for those who can’t attend the funeral.

Kunkle died July 14 at 72, years after he was diagnosed with Lewy body dementia in 2019. He was hired as Dallas’ 27th chief of police in 2004 after former chief Terrell Bolton was fired in 2003 amid scandal, our sister publication D Magazine reported. Kunkle retired from his role as Dallas police chief in 2010 and ran for mayor in 2011 but lost to former Mayor Mike Rawlings.  He spent the rest of his career consulting and teaching at the University of North Texas.

Current Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson wrote July 14 that Dallas is “a stronger city” because of Kunkle.

“Chief Kunkle’s service saved lives and set a new standard for police leadership across the nation,” Johnson wrote. “He will be remembered always for his dedication to keeping Dallas residents safe.”

Kunkle began his career in law enforcement in 1972 as a beat cop in Dallas’ Northwest Patrol Division, and he served as the top cop in Grand Prairie and Arlington before he accepted the Dallas job in 2004.

After his tenure as Arlington’s police chief, from 1985 to 1999, he served as Arlington’s city manager for five years.

“I had the good fortune to work for David for several years when he was serving as a Deputy City Manager for us,” Arlington City Manager Trey Yelverton said. “He started our modern community-based policing that we still practice today. I learned plenty from him.”

Kunkle is survived by his wife of 17 years, former broadcast reporter Sarah Dodd; son, Michael Kunkle; mother-in-law Vicki Dodd; Grandchildren: Sarah Belmares, Abbigail Kunkle, Jeremy Kunkle; brother Steve Kunkle and his wife Melissa and their children: Matthew Kunkle, Rachel Kunkle, Nathan Kunkle, Hannah Hollingsworth; sister Kay Myers and her husband Ron and their children: Jessica Biggs, Jacob Myers, Zachary Myers and Andrew Myers.

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Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, former deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order.

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