Proposed Dallas budget would fund DPD-DFR pension, not hire new officers

The proposed City of Dallas budget would fund its extra police pension contribution by not hiring the 500 officers former Chief David Brown recommended.

Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax laid out his first Dallas budget proposal on Friday.

"The money is no longer going to be budgeted, because we don't believe we can hire 500-600 officers in a given year,” Broadnax said. “Those dollars have been removed from the budget. But we've had additional costs in pension and other things, those dollars were directed there.”

Police experts recommend having 3 police officers for every 1,000 residents. Right now the city is just above 2 officers per 1,000.

Broadnax said there are currently 3,100 officers in Dallas and it will stay that way for the next two fiscal years. 

Broadnax expects the city to hire about 250 officers in the next fiscal year, but based on retirements, he admits that will just be a wash. The police department has received 64 retirement letters for August.

The savings from not hiring the additional officers will be used to fund the city's additional pension fund contribution required by the new state law.

Dallas Police Association President Mike Mata said the proposal was "unbelievable.”

"It's very disheartening that the city manager doesn't see  that being under 3,600 puts a major stress on the ability for existing manpower  to give the citizens of Dallas the quality service they expect, and  that  they pay for,” Mata said.

The budget also includes money to hire nine more 911 call takers, and fill 34,000 potholes across the city.

The proposed budget would keep the tax rate the same, which would bring in $62 million more dollars to the city compared to the previous budget.

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