The Dallas Police Department is considering “removing” some of its hiring disqualifiers amid an ongoing shortage of sworn officers.

​Deputy Chief William Griffith told the Dallas City Council Public Safety Committee on Monday that the police department is “modernizing” its physical training requirements and hiring disqualifiers.

Griffith claimed these changes would be instituted “without lowering” DPD’s hiring standards.

“The department is looking at removing some of our hiring disqualifiers and our physical training requirements without reducing our hiring standards,” according to a memo from Dallas police officials.

After an inquiry from Council Member Gay Donnell Willis (District 13), Griffith explained that DPD began revising its hiring practices in an effort “to be more modern.”

“[We] came up with the idea to reduce or remove some of these disqualifiers that we currently have, which will bring more applicants, we believe,” he said.

Griffith declined to publicly share which disqualifiers are under review.

“I don’t want to disclose what the disqualifiers are in this forum, but I would be willing to speak to you offline, and I’ll show you what those changes would be,” he said.

During Monday’s meeting, DPD also shared other recruiting and retention strategies currently being worked on, including additional advertising, sick time payouts for officers, an employee referral program, and a daycare program for officers with children.

DPD purportedly needs to improve its recruitment efforts as the department continues to suffer from a shortage of officers. Department spokesperson Jennifer Pryor told The Dallas Express on Monday that DPD currently only has a total of 3,044 sworn officers on staff.

However, a City report has previously said that a city the size of Dallas needs about 4,000 sworn officers to properly maintain public safety.

Griffith explained Monday that the department is working on “the return of the sick time payout to sworn members of the department [which] had stopped in October 2003.”

Regarding the employee referral program, he said DPD “strongly believes that every employee in the city is a recruiter, so we’re working closely with HR and the Comptroller’s Office to design an employee referral program.”

“Another retention strategy … we are working on is … providing daycare for police officers,” he said. “We have spoken to the rank and file, and the topic of affordable and convenient daycare in a 24-hour, 7-days-a-week operation is always discussed.”

Griffith said DPD is partnering with Kindercare and working alongside the National Law Enforcement Foundation board to design a daycare program for officers.

He said this program could reduce the cost of daycare for officers by 50% and allow officers to bring their children to the daycare facility if they are called to duty on short notice.

The City of Dallas has only budgeted $654 million for its police department this year, far less than other high-crime jurisdictions like New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

Meanwhile, response times continue to fall short of department goals, as previously reported by DX.

Furthermore, Fort Worth’s city center remains notably safer than Downtown Dallas. While around seven times more crime is reported each month in Downtown Dallas amid the significant police officer shortage, a specialized neighborhood police unit working alongside private security guards patrols Fort Worth’s downtown area.