Dallas, TX - The Dallas Police Department has lost more officers this year than ever before, according to CBSDFW.
Normal attrition occurs within any agency, but that usually involves younger officers. In Dallas, some of the most experienced police officers are leaving. DPD records show that "almost 60% of officers who have left during the last nine months "have served more than 20 years."
Mike Mata, Dallas Police Association president, said "those are the ones you want solving those homicides. Those are the ones you want solving those missing child cases or those rape cases, because they have talents they've groomed over a long period of time."
According to DPD records, 314 officers have already left this fiscal year, with three months remaining. 22 officers have given notice that they are leaving in July, while 36 officers plan to retire in August. More notices are expected as officers get job offers for other agencies.
Mata said he expects even more officers to resign prior to September, when the city's new pension plan takes effect. The new plan has taken away an incentive for veteran officers to stay.
Another factor involved in the exodus of officers leaving the agency is that other Texas law enforcement agencies are offering the best officers better pay and benefits.
Mata, who is a veteran officer, said he has stayed so far out of a sense of loyalty, but said "that doesn't feed my family. He also said, "that doesn't pay my mortgage."
Earlier this year, state officials revised the current pension plan, which includes both police officers and firefighters. Benefits were changed to take away the benefits that were promised at the time that they were hired. Those benefits are essentially part of the officers' salary packages, and reducing them is effectively a massive cut in pay.
The city has been unable to hire at anywhere near the rate that they are losing people. The extra pressure on the remaining officers will likely pressure even more officers to quit.