Dallas, Stand Behind Your Police as City Hall Cuts Our Pension

To the citizens of Dallas: I know it is really confusing to read all the hoopla surrounding the Police and Fire Pension issue. What is really going on? How did this come about? Whose side are we to believe? After all, you pay taxes, you did all you were asked to do, right?I'm speaking for myself here, but there are thousands of police officers and fire fighters in the same situation I am. I, too, pay my taxes. I, too, did all I was asked to do. Our pension is like your Social Security. We pay in with the promise and commitment to have a payout when we retire. We are not eligible for Social Security from our employment with the city. The mayor's appointees were tasked with overseeing the pension fund along with the other pension representatives. Our old pension board, no longer in place at this time, made some risky investments that did not pan out. The mayors' appointees shirked their responsibility as overseers. I swore to uphold the law, protect the citizens of Dallas, be part of the thin blue line that acts as a firewall between you, the law abiding citizens and those who intent to do you harm. I know the people who love me said a little prayer every day I went to work, hoping I'd come back in one piece. I missed a lot of family events. Like you, I tried to provide a good home for my family. I wanted to help my children and my grandchildren achieve their goals and full potential, frequently working extra jobs to make ends meet.The city of Dallas told me they would reward me with a retirement, and even offered an investment opportunity to keep me on the job. I listened and did that, too. Trust is a wonderful thing, isn't it?Well, it appears the city does not want to uphold its side of the bargain. And why should they? I upheld my promise and served for 32 years, but I am retired now, it feels like it's time to forget about the pledge to me and all those who are no longer serving actively. So here is the new city plan, as I see it: Let's convince the citizens of Dallas that those retirees really don't deserve what they have earned. Let's call them greedy and selfish. Let's tell the citizens of Dallas that all we really want is to save the officers from themselves and start a new pension for the ones who are still working. And to make it more believable, let's ask previous city leaders to get behind us. (After all, they didn't do what they promised either, and they wouldn't dare oppose this move, lest they'd be thought responsible for not doing their duty while at the helm.)Well, like I said, trust is a wonderful thing. I saw and felt your response last summer when we grieved our fellow officers killed in the police ambush. I saw your heartfelt care and concern. You KNOW that we, unlike politicians with agendas and political ambitions, are here with you for the duration. We are not going anywhere. We are your first responders. I have faith in your ability to see through all the political hay being made. Do this one thing for us: STAND BEHIND US! Make sure the city keeps their end of the bargain. The "Save the Pension" propaganda put out by the city would keep us out in the cold.Mia Sullivan is a retired Dallas police officer living in Canton. She wrote this column for The Dallas Morning News. Email: miasullivan@yahoo.com  Continue reading...

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