At least one Texas police department is actively recruiting North Texas officers to join what they call a strong pension force. San Antonio has activated jumbo advertisements in the DFW area, looking for officers.
It's an opportunity San Antonio police said is too good to pass up. It's also one that can't be missed by the eyes of tens of thousands of drivers.
The digital advertisements read "Strong Pension, Hiring Officers. Apply Now," and "$7,500 Bonus for Experienced Officers".
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If that alone isn't enough of an incentive to join the San Antonio Police Department, recruiters say there's more. "Our pension is nearly 90% funded and when an officer works for the city of San Antonio, has 20 years he can retire at a 45% pension rate and once he hits 33 years, he or she hits 33 years, it's a 87.5% once they retire," said San Antonio Police Lieutenant Steven Trujillo.
The billboards are strategically placed along 75, the Dallas North Tollway and I-35 and come at a time when Dallas Police officers face an uncertain future with the pension plan in turmoil.
The San Antonio PD said they're looking for certified Texas Peace Officers and are offering a modified 16-week training academy and compared to Dallas Police, offer more competitive salaries and better health care options.
Since October, Dallas Police lost 202 officers, received 69 letters of intent to leave the force in the coming months and up to 250 imminent retirements depending on the pension bill decision. Whereas San Antonio says they can't get enough applicants. "We will take as many officers as are interested and that are qualified to put into our training academy," said Lt Trujillo.
Dallas Police Association President Sergeant Mike Mata said it was only a matter of time. He added that San Antonio would be doing their department a huge service because they'd be getting a quality known commodity because officers would be coming from Dallas, one of the best training facilities in the nation.
San Antonio Police recruiters will be in Dallas on April 10 and 11 at the Hilton Garden Inn downtown and say entrance exams will be offered on the spot. For more information visit the San Antonio Police Department's career page.