Police numbers in Big D are dropping faster than Bill Clinton’s trousers. As reported by Bob Price of the Breitbart.com news portal, the city of Dallas is losing an unexpectedly high number of officers, especially in the past few weeks.
Since October 1, the Dallas Police Department has lost 99 officers who have either quit or retired.
The department, which lost four of its officers in a deadly sniper ambush in July, was already facing recruiting problems. The department has now lost an additional 99 officers in about 75 days since the beginning of the new fiscal year on October 1, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.
The man faced with filling those slots, acting Police Chief David Pughes, reported to the Dallas City Council the department was having difficulty meeting the recruiting goal of 60 officers for the next police academy class. So far, only 30 officers have been hired. That class is scheduled to begin in February the Dallas Morning News reported.
The Dallas newspaper reported the department is about 250 officers short of its desired strength of 3,500. During the last fiscal year ending on September 30, the department was down a net 152 officers.
The Dallas Police Association expressed its concerns about the loss of some of its most experienced and senior officers to other cities, CBSDFW reported. The association’s new president, Mike Mata, told the local CBS affiliate, “I think most of those 99 were tenured officers, so those are our most experienced officers, the majority investigative detectives who solve crimes everyday.”
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings blamed the higher than expected attrition rate to the city’s ongoing battle over pensions. “This is why we are working so hard to address our pension crisis,” Rawlings said.
The interim chief told the council his department is about 400 officers short.
While the Democrat mayor cites Dallas as going through a “pension crisis,” as it turns out, retirement pay isn’t the only retention problem.
As also cited by Breitbart’s Price;
Another key factor in officer attrition is their pay, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. While the starting pay of a Dallas police officer is $44,658, Fort Worth starts its officers at $52,176. One DFW area suburb, Hurst, starts its officers at $65,744.
While Mayor Rawlings has brought up the problems regarding the city’s pension program, he failed to mention that while police start out with a paltry $44,658 salary, the office of mayor has a paycheck almost doubled of those who could be killed on any given day.
As cited by DallasNews.com, the mayor’s pay was recently increased to $80,000 a year.