Police and Fire Associations Give Thumbs Down to Dallas Budget Numbers

Dallas City Manager A.C. Gonzalez gave a glimpse of the proposed Dallas budget on Friday, which includes pay raises for first responders.

"It seeks to strengthen, in particular, the area of our police department," Gonzalez said.

The budget includes $37 million for public safety, allowing the Dallas Police Department to hire 200 new police officers, and pay raises for police and firefighters who have not topped out at top scale pay.

But police and fire leaders say it does not go far enough

"It is dismal. It's shameful. We can't do that," said Cristian Hinojosa, of the Dallas Hispanic Firefighters Association.

Dallas Police Association President Ron Pinkston was also very upset.

"The fact is we are losing officers because of lack of pay," Pinkston said.

Friday's announcement came two days after police officers and firefighters packed a city council meeting, some wearing T-shits that said "Pay Dallas Police and Fire."

NBC 5 looked into the numbers and found that Dallas police officers start out up to $20,000 less than officers in comparable roles in some suburban departments.

In the budget numbers the city manager went through, Gonzalez said they prioritized raises for the bottom and middle ranks, and prioritized adding officers. District 11 City Council Member Lee Kleinman believes what was proposed is fair.

"All I can say is all we have heard for the last couple of years, is we are losing officers at the lower ranks. This is what we have been hearing from the associations and now they have changed their tune," Kleinman said.

It is now up to the city council to add, subtract and compromise with the budget. Right it looks like they have a way to go.

"I will be north of what the city manager's budget is offering," said District 5 Councilman Rickey Callahan.

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