DALLAS, TX Eight Dallas police officers recently left the department to go be cops in Fort Worth instead, according to the Fort Worth Police Department.
The eight cops were in a group of 10 Texas officers to join the department from elsewhere. The other two came from Wichita Falls and Irving. The lateral transfer class started Monday, and the new officers will graduate Feb. 20.
Dallas actually had nine officers set to leave, but one withdrew his name, Fort Worth police spokeswoman Natosha Tucker said.
The rumor of the transfers came up at a recent Dallas Police and Fire Pension board meeting when officers talked about how the possible end of a lucrative perk in the pension system, combined with comparatively low salaries in Dallas, might cause other officers to look elsewhere for work, as the eight Dallas cops did. Fort Worth starts its officers at a higher salary out of the academy than Dallas does.
The Dallas Police Department has a sworn strength of about 3,500, and about 200 officers leave the department through retirement or quitting each year on average. The city is hiring slightly below that attrition rate this year, but hopes to fill the gaps with civilian employees and some creative staffing moves.
But the department invests thousands in officers who they put through the academy. Dallas Police Association Vice President Frederick Frazier said the department is known across North Texas for training officers who end up going elsewhere.
“That’s what is happening,” Frazier said. “We train them, they leave.”
Ron Pinkston, the association’s president, said the pay and health benefits cause officers to look around for other jobs. But, he said, “we know it’s not all about pay and benefits.”
“We’ve been told by multiple officers that it’s also about the policies that are in place with the Dallas Police Department,” he said. “They want to be police officers, but some of the policies we have in place aren’t allowing them to do that with the city of Dallas.”
Dallas commanders have previously vowed to work with the associations to improve policies.