The future of the Dallas Police Department continues to hang in the balance as problems surrounding the department pension points to enrollment drop.
According to Dallas Police Association officials, about 250 officers will retire by the end of the summer. Meanwhile, new recruits are rethinking their position on the police force.
City leaders believe if the pension and enrollment problems are not addressed properly, Dallas residents will feel the impact. When enrollment numbers drop, the number of officers patrolling the streets will drop as well.
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That low number could impact 911 wait times. When an emergency operator receives a call for help, the emergency is organized by the “priority” level. Each priority has a target “wait time.”
According to the City of Dallas, the list of current wait times for emergency calls includes:
- Priority 1: “In progress calls” such as active shooter, kidnapping in progress. GOAL is 8 minutes or less. As of April, wait time is 8.12 minutes.
- Priority 2: Not in progress, such as robbery, fire, criminal assault. GOAL is 12 min. As of April, wait time is 21.71
- Priority 3: Missing person, intoxicated person, drug house, recent burglary. GOAL is 30 min. As of April, wait time is 60.31.
- Priority 4: Loud music, theft, burglary, animal complaints, panhandling. GOAL is 60 min. As of April, wait time is 74.49.
Texas lawmakers reached a tentative deal regarding the police and fire pension last week. They are working on drafting the language for the new pension plan before holding a hearing this week.