DALLAS - The Dallas City Council approved a record $4 billion budget after a heated debate over police overtime.
The council voted 8-7 to transfer $10 million of the department’s $28 million overtime budget to a reserve fund.
Mayor Pro Tem Chad West said it’s time to get the overtime under control.
"This amendment coupled with the requirement or a request for DPD to come back and talks to us about the overtime checks and balances they’re continuing to work on is a way that we can continue to monitor overtime," he said.
Some council members disagreed, pointing to an officer shortage.
"There’s no possibility that our DPD budget is going to go down. This entire exercise of we want to make sure we have the flexibility just in case, it’s not reality," said Council member Cara Mendelsohn.
"Although this is going into reserve, I am telling your right now, that we will need this funding particularly as we grow as a department," said Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia.
Even with the change, the Dallas Police Department will see an increase in its overall budget as it works to reduce violent crime and hire more officers.
The city’s spending plan also includes a small property tax rate cut. But most taxpayers will still pay higher bills because of increasing property values.
A second approval of the city budget is required later this month.