Amid a prolonged disagreement between Austin City Council and the Austin Police Department (APD), Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson recently suggested that the city’s law enforcement personnel come work for Dallas instead.
“If you work for Austin PD, are still interested in protecting and serving, and are considering retiring from the profession, don’t,” Mayor Johnson wrote over the weekend on Twitter.
“Come work for the residents of @CityOfDallas by joining @DallasPD. We want and need you,” he continued.
Attached to the tweet was an article from Fox News highlighting the growing tension between Austin’s government and its police department. An anonymous source allegedly within the APD told Fox that around 40 police officers resigned following a council vote to propose a single-year contract with the Austin Police Association instead of a four-year contract.
Similarly, the president of the Austin Police Retired Officer Association, Dennis Farris, suggested to Fox, “I fear we’re going to see a mass exodus of the senior people with longevity,” adding that he expects around a hundred resignations in the near future.
Mayor Johnson has visibly backed law enforcement personnel during his tenure in Dallas, notably pushing back against calls to “Defund the Police” during the protests following the death of George Floyd, as reported by The Dallas Express.
Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia applauded Johnson as “[t]he most vocal and supportive Mayor of law enforcement in the country, even when it wasn’t ‘popular,’” tweeting, “Our neighborhoods and @DallasPD are fortunate!”
Currently, the Dallas PD faces a 19% vacancy rate with 856 openings throughout the department, as covered by The Dallas Express.
Chief Garcia recently suggested to members of Dallas City Council’s Public Safety Committee that recruiting former members of the military who were dismissed for refusing COVID-19 vaccinations could help solve DPD’s recruitment problems.
In an attempt to retain officers while contract negotiations are ongoing, Austin City Council passed an ordinance on February 23 that includes a pay increase for all officers beneath assistant chief, signing bonuses for cadets, and an expanded retention strategy.
“We are sending a clear message that — no matter what — we value our officers and want them to continue to serve our communities responsibly,” Austin Councilmember Ryan Alter claimed.
Austin Mayor Kirk Watson said in a statement to The Dallas Express, “Police officers in Austin are the highest paid in the state, and experienced officers here are making, on average, 17 percent more than they would in Dallas.”
“When you look at the compensation numbers side by side, it begs the question: who really values officers more?” Watson said.
Pointing back to the recent ordinance, the mayor added, “[W]e directed the City Manager to develop a plan to give officers a pay raise and address the current shortage of police officers by offering retention and recruitment incentives.”
“It’s also important to note that law enforcement agencies everywhere are struggling with recruitment and retention,” Watson continued. “Dallas is facing these problems, too.”
“Some Austin officers had already decided to retire prior to the adoption of the ordinance on Thursday, but my hope is that those still considering their options will see this ordinance as a demonstration of good faith,” Watson added.
The Dallas Express reached out to the Austin PD for comment but did not hear back prior to publication.
As a staunch Republican, it is hard for me to say, but Johnson is a pretty decent mayor. I remember when he first came in he tried to cut salaries for top city of Dallas executives. I think he got shot down, but tried. He is a throwback to the old “reasonable democrats” unlike the hair-on-fire leftist that is the great majority of the Democrat Party today. It pains me to write this.
Most Republicans just want a decent place to live and to be left alone. Somehow that makes us evil according to the left.
Doesn’t make you evil. MOST Democrats want the same thing. It is the EXTREMES on BOTH sides that create the division and point fingers at each other. Maybe, like you, they long for the days when we could disagree but RESPECT the views of someone who may see things differently. We could ALL learn if we listen and LOVE instead of HATE.
With crime up all over Dallas, this should be the #1 issue for our upcoming City Council election on May 6. We should all support our pro-police candidates!
The Mayor in Austin doesn’t own the police in his City. If you treat them right they will stay.
This is a thankless occupation.
Austin may pay 17% more, but their cost of living is much higher than Dallas negating any benefit.
Also with the shortage of officers and a DA looking to get them, the stress is not worth it.
Good for Johnson. Police officers may be willing to take the pay cut if they know the mayor will back them up. C’mon up to Dallas and join the force.
I realize the Austin police officers might be more seasoned, by their longevity with the police force, but we need young blood t, that are able to run and capture criminals! Dallas needs to up the salary of policeman I will agree.God help us if our police decided not to come to work for a week! The citizens of dallas could not leave their homes! We need Dallas police the civil unrest would be unbearable! I’m already afraid of my neighbors , so many people moving in your neighborhood you don’t know, strange people walking down the side walk with back packs full of tools to break in. It’d we don’t hire more police officers , pay them well, people will be forced to buy more guns, then the gun violence goes up because everyone’s excuse will be “I was protecting my property or myself”. I believe in letting the police do their job they were paid to do. To our mayor Johnson , it’s not necessary to bring in older more seasoned police officers just hire hood people and pay them the salary they deserve.back our blue.
that is the way of the democrats and rinos everyone else first and america last someting wrong with this picture . texas is two steps to turning blue texas has a house full of rinos that get voted in and then select a rino for speaker that appoints democrats to chair the committees that was to be chaired by conservatives. and to top it all off there was a choice other than dade.