City officials and the public "really need to be concerned," about the shrinking police force, interim Dallas Police Chief David Pughes said Monday.

Pughes told the City Council's public safety committee that the department is down to a nearly critical level of 3,077 officers. That's the smallest force the city has had in about 10 years. Another 100 would-be officers are training in the police academy.

The chief said he's concerned that the department, which peaked at nearly 3,700 officers about six years ago, will be short-handed while entering the summer months, when crime generally increases.

Consternation about the failing Dallas Police and Fire Pension System seems to have caused officers to quit and retire much faster than the department can hire and train new ones, the Dallas Morning News reports.