The Dallas Police Department has experienced a shortage of police officers for two years now. The shortage has driven up the rate of overtime, and its costs, for the city. For the second year in a row, council members at City Hall have tried to address this and find a solution. However, council members disagree on whether the overtime budget of $28 million for the next fiscal year would be enough.
Mayor Pro Tem Chad West, pledging support for “our men and women in blue,” believes that the department’s overtime spending should be monitored. West, who voiced his concern about the expense of the Dallas Police Department’s overtime at the council meeting in 2020, proposed to the council to that effect on Thursday.
West proposed that the city move $10 million of the next fiscal year’s allocated $28 million in police overtime to a reserve fund. This way, the police department will have to make a formal request through the city’s public safety committee before using the money.
The proposal passed by an 8-7 vote. Opposing council members disagreed with the idea because a police department that remains hampered by the officer shortage will be forced to incur expensive overtime to handle the city’s needs. Councilmember Cara Mendelsohn said that she wouldn’t be supporting the amendment as it felt very political.