DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – As part of his “Back to Basics Plan,” Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson is asking City Manager T.C. Broadnax to hire 275 police officers in next year’s budget that begins October 1.
It’s 125 more officers than the city’s original plan for next year and is 70 more officers than the expected attrition.READ MORE: Texas Officer Dies After Crash With 18-Wheeler While Responding To Emergency
City records show between October 1, 2020 and June 30, 144 officers left the city while 77 were hired.
Mayor Johnson also wants to give police officers and firefighters market salary rate increases, something they didn’t receive this year.
In a statement, Mayor Johnson said, “…Our police department has been strained in recent years by short staffing, which has necessitated substantial police overtime spending. We can and must do better…”
He said the city will have additional funding this year from federal COVID-19 relief money approved by Congress as part of the American Rescue Plan Act.
His plan is receiving some support around the horseshoe.
Council Member Cara Mendelsohn said, “We need more officers and I have my own budget priorities known. They completely align with this. We don’t have enough officers to respond to calls. Our officers can’t even take a day off. When you look at our statistics besides patrol, our investigative units are completely understaffed.”READ MORE: Padel Players Try Out For US National Team In Dallas
Council Member Carolyn King Arnold said, “I can say yes, we want to support that number. However, the city manager is preparing a budget and that budget is with the goal in mind with as many officers as we can get that we can actually train. The bottom line is I think all of us will agree whatever we can do in terms of recruitment, funding, staffing, and we’re going to do that.”
The Chair of the Council’s Public Safety Committee, Adam McGough said adding officers may not be the only way to reduce crime but that it is a necessary piece. He said he hopes the council will support Mayor Johnson’s proposal.
Terrance Hopkins, President of the Black Police Association of Greater Dallas agrees DPD needs more officers.
“Every officer counts here and when we’re lacking officers, that’s just another place where crime can explode so we really need those numbers to be what they need to be,” he said.
They all agreed that police officers and firefighters should receive market salary rate increases.
In a statement, Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia thanked the Mayor for his support and said, “Over the past few months, I have been meeting with the city manager to discuss the needs of the department and I am confident that he is working to prepare a budget that will provide the resources necessary for us to be successful…”
City Manager Broadnax will release his proposed spending plan next month.MORE NEWS: Over 250 Guns Surrendered To DeSoto Police During Saturday Event
Council members must approve a budget by the end of September.