Dallas Actor Has Vested Interest in Police and Fire Pension Crisis - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Dallas Actor Has Vested Interest in Police and Fire Pension Crisis

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Dallas Police and Fire pension crisis is worsening. Members have withdrawn more than $500 million from the ailing system since August. Now, the fund could be insolvent in just five years. (Published Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017)

    The Dallas Police and Fire pension crisis is worsening. Members have withdrawn more than $500 million from the ailing system since August. Now, the fund could be insolvent in just five years.

    Just last week, that projection was at 10 years.

    On Wednesday, the Dallas City Council will again take up the weighty issue. And one local actor has a vested interest in the debate over retirement funds.

    "Some of the episodes of Walker Texas Ranger here, I did a number of those," said Ed Spila, a successful actor and producer.

    He's worked with Chuck Norris and many other acclaimed actors.

    His roles span a number of characters.

    "I was on NBC, 'Saving Jessica Lynch.' I played the Ranger medic for that," he said.

    Now he's on the big screen.

    "My latest film, 'Daylight's End,' stars Johnny Strong, Lance Henriksen, my friend William Kaufman," said Spila.

    Not only did he act in the Vertical Entertainment production, he also co-produced it.

    Eighty-percent of Daylight's End was filmed right in downtown Dallas – in an ironic twist, right outside the old Dallas Police Headquarters, where Spila started his career.

    That's because in this picture, he's not acting.

    Sgt. Ed Spila is a 31-year veteran with the Dallas Police Department. Spila took on acting to supplement his income. He was hoping to retire from the force this month, but he says unforeseen changes have him rethinking his future.

    "We'll make do. If it means I have to work for a few years, then that's where it's at. It's unfortunate, but that may be where its at," he said.

    The single father says as it stands, his retirement money is locked down because of the Dallas Police and Fire pension battle, so right now he's in limbo.

    "All I wanted to do was supplement my monthly income and get it down the road, that's it," he said.

    It would be a path that would give him more time to spend with his son and pursue his passion of acting. But for now, the longtime officer will continue serving the citizens of Dallas and revel in what he's accomplished so far.

    "That's me, by the way, right there," Spila said, as he pointed to the poster of 'Daylight's End.'

    "I did make the poster. I was very excited about that," he said.

    'Daylight's End' is now playing on Starz and available on DVD. Spila, meantime, has certainly paid his dues. He was shot twice in the line of duty. Spila was also named Dallas Police "Sergeant of The Year" in 2015.

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