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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Former police chiefs want state lawmakers to pass a bill that will save the police and fire pension fund from going broke.

Thirty-two of them have signed a letter addressing what they see as a public safety crisis.

All of the experienced Dallas Police Department officers point to the low pay, and the current pension crisis for causing under-staffing within the department.

In the letter addressed to the city, they say: “The consequences include an inevitable rise in serious crime as Dallas loses officers and is unable to replace them.”

The letter alludes to their belief that the situation isn’t new, either, citing understaffing and a “huge tide” of serious crimes.

The citizens and city government launched an effort to raise the number of officers to three per 1,000 citizens.

Hundreds of officers have quit, or retired in the past two years and the department is 100 officers short of its target staffing level.

Mayor Rawlings had no comment beyond his extensive public testimony in Austin on Monday.