“Get off the protest line,” Dallas police chief David Brown said after the ambush assassinations of five officers, “and put an application in.” That call to action has been answered, CBS News reports this morning, in a big way. What inspired them to respond? As Brown put it, they want to be “part of the solution,” not “part of the problem”:

Hundreds of potential recruits are lining up to join the Dallas Police Department after last month’s deadly ambush of officers.

Police Chief David Brown delivered a call to action after the shooting rampage during a Black Lives Matter protest that killed five officers and wounded nine others.

“Become a part of the solution, serve your communities. Don’t be part of the problem,” Chief Brown said.

Chief Brown’s challenge was met with a hardy response. His message resonated with people in Dallas and surrounding communities, encouraging those who want to see change within the police department to join its ranks by applying to the force, reports CBS News correspondent Omar Villafranca.

Almost 500 people applied in the two weeks following the shooting — almost triple the normal rate of interest. The challenge from Brown has reverberated through the community, and the murders have activists rethinking their approach to engagement. That has produced potential recruits like Jaiston Sawyer, who tells CBS that only active participation in law enforcement will bring the changes the community seeks. “The best way to see a better police force is to be the change that you want to see.”

Kudos to Brown, and kudos to Dallas for answering his call. A self-governing people need a responsible police force, and the only way to ensure that is active community engagement. Law enforcement professionals are members of the community, too, and they need the support of citizens as well as their oversight. Perhaps Big D can offer a positive model for all sides.