The Dallas Police Department personnel crisis continues with 99 officers having officially quit or retired from the department in the past 10 weeks, reports LawOfficer.com, citing a Dallas Morning News report. The departures have caused manpower levels to drop below desired levels by hundreds. With lagging recruitment, the city’s hoped-for staff levels do not appear to be within reach in the near future. Dallas faces many of the same challenges other police departments are experiencing: a rising crime rate, troubled pension funds, a less-than-competitive salary compared with other cities, and difficulties recruiting qualified applicants willing to pursue a career in law enforcement.
While 99 officers have left Dallas, only 30 recruits have been hired for the next police academy in February. Officials had targeted 60 participants in the next academy class, according to Dallas Interim Police Chief David Pughes. The City Council wants a ratio of 3 police officers for every 1,000 Dallas residents. The city is falling far below its target of 3,500 officers, with 3,252. Officials hope to recruit and hire about 450 officers in the coming year to make up for the loss of officers, who quit or retired. The math suggests a daunting task. Given the department’s historical five percent acceptance rate, the city would need 9,000 applicants.