The Dallas Police Department is facing some challenging times ahead.
DPD has reached a “critical” point, says Mike Mata, vice president of the Dallas Police Association.
It’s gotten so bad, he says, that the last two academy classes were cancelled because there were so few applicants.
Not only is the dept struggling to hire new recruits, but there’s been a sort of mass exodus of veteran officers at a time when morale has been very low.
Those cops are leaving for other cities in the state, like Ft. Worth, where the pay is better. A Dallas police officer’s starting salary is $45,000, one of the lowest in the area. In surrounding cities, they can make up to $15,000 more – the local ABC affiliate reported.
Mata says if they don’t do something now to “stem the tide of these losses” the future of the dept looks very “bleak.”
Citizens meantime are feeling the impact. They say police response times are not good enough and they just don’t feel safe.
The violent crime rate is up 15 % from last year, WFAA reports.
The dept is working with the local police association to negotiate higher pay for their officers and other ways in which to retain them.
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