DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – As the need for officers grows, police departments across North Texas have started competing against each other to keep their current officers on board. And it often comes down to money, as many local departments are poaching from each other.
In the past two and a half years, the Plano Police Department said that it has lured 40 officers away from other local agencies, and the Fort Worth Police Department has hired 46 local officers. That has left the Dallas Police Department and other cities scrambling to come up with incentives.
Earlier this year, as Dallas officers struggled with pension problems, the San Antonio Police Department touted its own strong pension plan on a billboard in Dallas.
The Fort Worth PD has tried to attract experienced officers through a lateral entry program, allowing them to start at a higher pay grade.
Rowlett city manager Brian Funderburk unveiled a new budget Tuesday night that would boost the salaries of officers by eight percent. He hopes that the move will help Rowlett retain officers who might be tempted to leave.
“We want the best of the best, and they want the best of the best, and so we’re all trying to offer what our cities are capable of offering,” explained Chief Mike Broadnax of the Rowlett Police Department. “We know Plano just brought in that large Toyota development. They’re going to be hiring. Frisco is growing. Allen’s growing. McKinney’s growing. So, the competition is really there.”
Dallas has been hit especially hard by the increased competition. Fort Worth, Plano, Rowlett and Arlington all stated that they have snatched up Dallas officers in the last few years. The Dallas PD, however, has not gained any officers in return from these cities.
“The competition for police officers is brutal right now,” Broadnax said. “We’re all in competition with each other in trying to get good officers and keep good officers.”