City Proposes Police Pay Raises

Today the Council was briefed on a proposal to increase police pay so that we can (1) attract new recruits and (2) retain our experienced officers. Having more police officers is critical to reducing crime in our city. Our police chief has done a great job using the resources he has, but we need to support him in giving him the tools and personnel he needs to fight crime.

First, some good news: our recruitment is up as a result of the $10,000 recruitment bonus the Council recently approved.

Now we’re looking at other ways that we can address police recruitment and retention. Today’s briefing compared Dallas’ police salaries to 9 surrounding suburbs. Base pay plus “special pay” (state-mandated longevity pay, field training pay, detective pay, certification pay, education pay) were considered. We compared different levels of officers. Here’s where Dallas ranks:

Recruits: 4th
3-Year Officer: Last
5-Year Officer: Last
7-Year Officer: Last
Top-Step Senior Corporal: 2nd

The proposal provides a 3-year plan to become more competitive with surrounding cities to address the issue until the pay referendum lawsuit is addressed.

–Restructure the pay “steps,” eliminating the lowest steps, so that new recruits would make $41,690/year instead of $38,640.
–Give new recruits $10,000 bonus (already in effect)
–Give between $100-$400/month bonus for officers who have special certification training
–Reestablish tuition reimbursement for all city employees
–Add $5000 bonus for 5 years of service

–Make step increases more frequent. Instead of taking 15 years to achieve top pay level, reduce to 8 years
–Increase salaries for each step by 5%
–Add $3000 bonus for 10 years of service
–Increase certification monthly bonus by $100 for intermediate and masters certification

–Increase salaries for each step by 5%

If we adopt this plan, Dallas will have the following ranks compared to 9 surrounding cities:

Recruits: 1st
3-Year Officer: Last
5-Year Officer: 5th
7-Year Officer: 8th
Top-Step Senior Corporal: 1st

View the proposal.

There is a real sense among all councilmembers and staff that we need to do whatever we need to do to make our city safer, and there is real support for this proposal. I also spoke with representatives from the Dallas Police Association and they are pleased with the proposal.

My hat is off to City Manager Mary Suhm for proposing police pay raise and incentives that will help us recruit and retain good officers to make our city safer.