The Fort Worth Police Department could now make up a fully staffed unit out of Dallas officers they snatched up this year.
Six out of seven of the Fort Worth department’s newest hires come from the Dallas Police Department, Fort Worth Sgt. Steve Enright said in an email. The seventh officer is from Wichita Falls.
That means 20 Dallas officers — a Fort Worth spokeswoman said 19 finished their shortened academy — have left in 2015 to become Fort Worth cops. Fort Worth has hired a total of 27 officers from other Texas police departments in all this year through their lateral transfer classes.
Fort Worth pays higher starting salaries than Dallas. Two veteran Dallas officers who left for Fort Worth in January said they received significant salary bumps to go west.
Dallas Police Chief David Brown has vowed to use his bully pulpit to push for more competitive salaries for cops, saying the officers deserve more money for helping produce 11-straight years of crime reduction and last year’s 84-year-low murder rate. The city’s current salary agreement with police and firefighters expires at the end of the current fiscal year.
Some police associations have said officers are bailing because of what they say is low morale caused by the chief’s management.
Brown said he has been working to recognize cops’ work more and fix policies that hinder officers’ morale. He has also said some officers who have left end up trying to come back.
Dallas had its highest attrition numbers in recent history last fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30.
The Fort Worth Police Department is less than half the size of the 3,500-officer Dallas Police Department.