Police recruiting is underway in downtown Dallas, but it's the city of San Antonio that wants new officers. The move comes at a time when the Dallas Police Department is faced with a shrinking force and a pension plan in limbo.
Tucked away on the fifth floor of the Hilton Garden Inn in downtown Dallas, San Antonio police officers were busy Monday pulling pamphlets and preparing for a power-point presentation designed to entice future officers.
For weeks, the department has been advertising a strong pension and signing bonuses for veteran officers in Dallas.
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"These officers are experienced. They have the knowledge and training they're bringing to the San Antonio Police Department," said SAPD recruiting officer Yvonne Padilla.
Padilla attributes the aggressive recruiting efforts to the quality of training Dallas police officers receive.
But it's a move that has Dallas City Councilman Philip Kingston concerned.
"It's not San Antonio's problem that we can be poached," Kingston said.
He went on to explain how he's been on a financial crusade to keep Dallas police officers on the force.
"It's clear that in the next meet-and-confer agreement, we're going to have to come up in pay. I mean, we want to make another move to keep ourselves competitive," he said.
Sgt. Michael Mata, president of the Dallas Police Association, agrees with Kingston and says with a pension plan up in the air and other uncertainties, the San Antonio recruiting efforts have officers intrigued.
"I mean, there are so many things we're fighting right now. These officers are seeing an avenue to better their families," Mata said.
"It's very competitive in law enforcement overall, but ultimately we're all one big family. We are here for each other. We love Dallas police. We love all law enforcement agencies, and we're just here to spread that message and tell everyone what we have to offer," Padilla said.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings had no comment for NBC 5 on the recruiting efforts, and there was no response from the Dallas city manager's office.
San Antonio recruiters will be at the Hilton Garden Inn at 1600 Pacific Avenue again Tuesday morning starting at 8 a.m. There will be a modified academy information session and registration/KSA testing offered.