There is an interesting trend over the past few years at the Dallas Police Department of less officers hired while more are leaving the department.
Dallas News reported that at 3,139 officers, the department is smaller than it was 10 years ago, when roughly 100,000 fewer people lived in Dallas.
Dallas Police Association President Mike Mata says another 72 Dallas Police officers will leave by the end of this month, according to CBS DFW.
Mata said 70% of them are retiring and the other 30% are going to other departments. “We’re losing some of our most experienced detectives: The investigator you want to come out and solve that homicide, that you need to come out and solve that sexual assault.”
Adam McGough, chairman of the Dallas city council’s public safety committee, is concerned about the situation. “That’s the first of this number I heard of it. Anytime we have large numbers of officers leaving, it’s concerning.”
Many officers are leaving as a result of the troubled police and fire pension fund, low morale, poor pay and a perceived lack of support from city leaders for public safety.
In an attempt to save the fund, the Texas Legislature passed a law that requires police officers and firefighters to contribute more to their retirement.
The taxpayers will also be forced to pay an additional $40 million into the pension fund in the next year.
To pay for that added cost, City Manager T.C. Broadnax is proposing to slash the number of funded positions in the police department from 3,613 during the 2016-17 budget year, to 3,094 during 2017-18, and 3,144 during 2018-19.
This of course raises the question of whether or not the department will be able to respond appropriately in emergency situations.
McGough said, “That’s the question and that’s a question for our new chief coming in on how she handles the staffing and allocations.”
Mata says, “We’re at a critical state and we’re not solving the problems that are going to help correct this. That’s why I’m a little disappointed in the city manager’s budget.”
(Article By Jeremiah Jones)