After the recent shooting deaths of five Dallas police officers rocked the nation, it reminds people that policing is a dangerous job, but higher job risk does not always mean higher pay, especially in Dallas.
“These officers risk their lives for $40,000 a year. And this is not sustainable,” said Dallas Police Chief David Brown on July 10 CNN’s “State of the Union.”
The starting pay for an officer is $44,659 per year. Brown stated that’s the lowest in the DFW area. “They’ve been leaving to go to other adjoining law enforcement agencies because of that. So it’s not just resignation — it’s officers not feeling appreciated,” Brown said Monday.
According to CNN, Daniel Young is one of many former DPD officers who have left Dallas for a higher salary. Young was with the DPD for six years before leaving in May to join the nearby Rowlett Police Department, where the starting salary is $50,471.
“You’re losing that experience to a younger guy, now that younger guy has to make a decision on the street that a six- or eight-year veteran has to make,” said Young. To make up for the difference in pay, many officers take on second jobs.
It’s not just Rowlett that has better pay, officers in Fort Worth will earn $52,176, $56,754 in McKinney, $59,501 in Arlington, and in Plano officers start at $63,757.
Brown said, “Our officers are committed to this profession, but they want to take care of their families financially as well. And we’re working to correct that. I have every indication I get from the mayor, the city manager, the city council, they want to correct that as soon as possible. I trust that they will.”
In May, the president of the Dallas Police Association, Ron Pinkston, wrote that the city had lost 124 officers to neighboring departments this year.
“There is no path to better public safety that avoids addressing compensation issues. Compensation concerns are causing police recruits and young officers to go elsewhere. The compensation issue is also causing veteran officers with valuable expertise to retire in alarming numbers,” he wrote.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings’ office said they have been working on a salary increase, but details won’t be finished until September.