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Dallas PD Losing Younger Officers to Attrition

April 14, 2015  | 

Photo: Dallas PD Facebook Page
Photo: Dallas PD Facebook Page

Nearly all officers who quit the Dallas Police Department have less than 10 years of experience, according to department statistics presented Monday to members of the City Council's Public Safety Committee. Most of those who depart have less than five years with the department, reports the Dallas Morning News.

And this year, the department is losing slightly more of their younger guns than usual.

Of the 52 officers who have quit this year, only one has more than 10 years of experience. Forty-two more officers have retired.

Deputy Chief Albert Martinez said the department estimates it will lose 217 officers this fiscal year to resignations, retirements or "other" — which Martinez called an "unwilling separation" — meaning firings and deaths. They also lost eight all at once to the Fort Worth Police Department.

Martinez said he expects the projection to be pretty accurate.

That means police would shrink more through attrition this year than expected. The department's budget this year called for hiring 165 officers this year on the assumption that about 200 would leave. The year prior, the department hired 220 people and had 204 officers bail.

Dallas Police Chief David Brown has tried to mitigate the loss by moving officers off desk jobs and replacing them with lower-paid civilian workers — ones who don't cost tens of thousands of dollars to train.

Police associations, and former Dallas police chiefs, cried foul when the city approved hiring below attrition, saying the problems would only be exacerbated when times were bad. Retired Chief Bill Rathburn warned that doing so would start a "vicious cycle."

Comments (5)

Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

RPG @ 4/14/2015 4:25 PM

Police work in a career, not a job. With the current media and public disdain for officers in general, officers will gravitate towards agencies which they believe offer them the best protection and loyalty, pay and retirement benefits. As for agencies "poaching" from nearby agencies, its just another symptom of the shrinking tax dollar. Agencies must do better to foster the positive work environment that young officers are looking for.

kevCopAz @ 4/14/2015 6:30 PM

Don't know for sure, but my guess is that when you lose younger officers they see opportunity elsewhere, probably more money, better moral or better treatment at other departments. The City should take a moral survey immediately to see if the real cause is money, supervision or other work related things. DO not let the Police administration or the union do the survey, pay the cost for an outside entity to do it so that you get the truth with out any shading other way. Don't just "hire more" to replace them this breeds a vicious cycle and the cost of training will be wasted. Identify the problem and fix that, then there wont be the waste of training funds and loss of experience later.

Jon Retired LEO @ 4/15/2015 12:08 PM

With the current overall attitude towards officers of all departments I can understand some of them probably wanting to get out of Law Enforcement all together. A large part though is the controlling agencies namely city councils, county commissioners not willing to increase funding to pay them a fair salary especially for putting their lives on the line. The county 30 miles from us are getting a lot of officers from our county primarily due to the wage increase. After they are trained they simply go for the higher wage.

Clay @ 4/15/2015 2:32 PM

I have a question. When a recruit goes through the academy and becomes an officer, is he obligated to stay for a certain time? Or can he just get out of one department who paid for his training and go immediately to another agency?

Ret. L.E. @ 4/17/2015 12:31 PM

The PD in my area started a few years ago that a recruit has to stay on the job at least for 3 years after graduating from the academy. If he/she leaves before that time, they have to pay the city back. Low morale, messing with and putting limits of hours for Paid Details, attrition, domicile restrictions, and quite a few other problems all adding up. We're about 700 officers short of the full department, presently holding at 1000 officers. Most are leaving for better pay and working environments. Really can't blame them.

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