Former Dallas police union leader calls for calm in pension crisis

Some people are calling for calm in the face of financial uncertainty for the Dallas Police and Fire Pension Fund.

The fund is the retirement for some 5,000 current and future police and fire fighters.

"The Mayor just needs to keep quiet and people will stop taking their money out, if he just keeps his mouth shut,” said retired officer and former Dallas Police Association leader Glenn White.

White opposes the mayor's lawsuit seeking to freeze the withdrawal of drop money to keep the pension fund from going bankrupt.

"That's our money! It's not the City's money, not the pension's money! That's our money that we put away, that we saved,” White said.

Rawlings' suit says in a little more than 3 months, pension members withdrew a half billion dollars representing 18 percent of the entire pension fund’s assets.

White says there are other ways to fix the problem.

"There's ways to do solve it now with it not directly impacting anyone. Pension obligation bond is a good way to do it,” White said. “Let the City and the Pension Board split the cost of that debt service.”

White says he understands the concerns of pension members and is urging them not to panic.

"They don't know what to do. I would encourage them to stay here, this problem will get solved by the time it comes for them to retire in 15-20 years,” White said. “It all works itself out.”

White's not just blowing smoke -- he says he participated in the drop program for six years himself. 

"I'm not panicking to take my money out for two reasons. I think they'll work this out. And if they don't work it out, it's going to be years and years through court, litigation etc. and people will still take that money out,” White said.

Pension board members are expected to vote whether they should freeze cash withdrawals from the drop program Thursday morning. 

If they don't come decision, a state district judge to will decide.

Pension members have until Dec. 17 to cast their votes on whether to increase contributions and cut benefits.

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