North Texas Police Departments in “Bidding War” for Experienced Officers

Experience can pay off big for police officers in North Texas.

"In some cases, it is a bidding war," said Lt. Doug Deaton, who leads recruiting for the Plano Police Department.

Many departments across North Texas offer big pay raises to attract those with years on the job elsewhere.

"Everybody is having a hard time recruiting young officers," said Ron Pinkston, president of the Dallas Police Association.

Lewisville is now offering new officers with one year of experience $65,910 per year.

That's more than $19,000 above the $46,870 the officer would be earning in Dallas.

"It is a bidding war," said Pinkston.

After only a year on the job, Frisco pays officers $65,335 and Plano pays $63,757.

"They're targeting our officers because we have a great academy here, we have great police officers," said Pinkston. "But the city of Dallas hasn't recognized that and aren't paying them a competitive salary, which is allowing those officers to make a decision to leave for better pay."

Under Lewisville's new offer, an officer with five years of experience will get $77,041.

That's a 49-percent pay raise for a five-year veteran of the Dallas Police Department, earning $51,688.

Plano police are among the highest paid in the state.

New recruits there start at $59,077, and earn $79,786 after just three years.

"Experience does count," said Deaton. "Experienced police officers from other jurisdictions have that foundation of experience, skills, and abilities that we can use here in Plano."

Dallas police are asking for a 5-percent raise over each of the next three years, but even that wouldn't bring the department in line with others competing for veteran officers.

The competition for experienced officers will only increase as North Texas continues to grow.

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