DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – For the first time in years, the Dallas Police Department gained more officers than it lost.

The Dallas Police Association’s First Vice President, Frederick Frazier, celebrated the news.

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“It’s a huge deal,” he said.

Records show between October 1, 2018 through September 30 of this year, DPD hired 281 officers, 26 more than the city’s hiring goal. During that same period, 242 officers left the department, eight fewer than DPD projected.

Records show as of September 30 this year, DPD had 3,067 officers, 53 more than the same day in 2018. They either retired or left the department to work in neighboring cities that pay more.

Frazier credited city leaders for bumping officers’ pay. “It’s past Fort Worth, it’s past many of the other competing agencies. The officers are staying here, are coming here.”

In addition, Frazier said even some of the officers who went to work in the suburbs have returned to DPD. “I know seven officers have been back in the hopper. They’re like finally Dallas stepped up and showed us the money they showed us they believed in us.”

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He said that’s because in the new three year meet and confer contract with the city, existing officers were made whole after taking pay cuts years ago and starting officers will receive $62,000.

Salaries may go up again during the second year of the contract.

The DPA said negotiations are set to begin in March and will go into effect October 1.

During a Dallas City Council Public Safety Committee meeting Tuesday, DPD’s First Assistant Chief David Pughes told Council Members more people are applying. “Kudos to the recruiters, the background investigators, everybody that brought those additional folks that were far exceeded what we were anticipating.”

Council Member David Blewett said he is pleased. “I can tell you as a city councilman, to be there and see that young people younger than me at least I want to do that job and the caliber of the guys that you’re getting I was very encouraged and happy to see that now.”

DPD lost hundreds of officers during the past several years, so there’s still a long way to go before reaching prior staffing levels. The department is now in the process of developing a long-term plan that includes staffing.

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