DALLAS - Dallas police overtime pay is projected to soar to $32 million by September 30 -- about double what was budgeted.
The Dallas Public Safety Committee heard from police brass on Monday about how money has been spent so far. Some of the biggest overtime expenses from April to July include: $1 million spent on a violent crimes task force, $705,000 for protest recovery and $200,000 for the most recent Donald Trump visit.
Some city leaders say the focus should be on new recruits to boost the force and decrease overtime pay. But police unions say the entire department should get a 5 percent raise, which would cost the city $21 million over three years.
“If you split the officers up and only half the officers are getting money and a third of the officers aren't getting any money, you are going to lose officers. And I'm going to tell you there are officers that are waiting to make decisions based on this budget,” said Sheldon Smith, Black Police Association.
The Dallas Police Department has lost 219 officers due to attrition so far in 2016.
“We are not able to fill the spots we have for police officers and that's concerning to me,” said councilwoman Jennifer Staubach Gates.
Fire fighters are also requesting a pay increase.
Both police and fire unions said they were disappointed in the city manager's proposal last week for police and firefighter pay raises and proposed additional money to add police officers to the force.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has donated $1 million to the department. Some of that money will go toward overtime and some will be used for cameras.