DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Dallas Police Department appears ready to set a record for the number of officers on their way out.
With three months remaining, records obtained by CBS11 show 314 officers have already left this fiscal year. According to the Dallas Police Association, that’s more than the department has ever lost in a single year.
“I think the numbers are just going to increase, unfortunately,” said DPA president Michael Mata.
Mata expects even more departures soon, predicting a surge during the next two months. He said 22 officers have given the department notice they are leaving in July while another 36 are planning retirements in August. He warns those are only the ones he knows about.
“I guarantee you that’s going to double because officers want to leave prior to September 1 when the new pension comes into play,” said Mata.
It’s not just any officers leaving either. Increasingly the department is losing its most experienced ones.
Almost 60 percent of officers who have left during the last nine months served the department for more than 20 years.
“Those are the ones you want solving those homicides. Those are the ones you want solving those missing child cases or those rape cases, because they have talents they’ve groomed over a long period of time,” said Mata.
Mata said the new pension plan has removed an incentive for department veterans to stick around. He also says other police forces in North Texas are poaching some of Dallas’ best officers with promises of better pay and better benefits.
A long timer himself, Mata said a sense of loyalty to the department is keeping him in Dallas. It has its limits, though…
“That doesn’t feed my family. That doesn’t pay my mortgage,” he said.