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Police staffing heats up Dallas mayoral race

One candidate says if the department shrinks a little, the gap can be bridged by overtime

By BJ Austin

DALLAS — In 2006, Dallas City Hall began a five-year program of hiring 200 additional officers in an effort to reach the decades-old goal of three officers per one thousand residents. It's done that, just barely. Last year's budget shortfall caused City Council members to cut in half the number of officers hired to replace those who retired or resigned. And cut the number of new recruits. The average cost to equip one new officer, including salary, benefits and equipment, is more than 63 thousand dollars.

Mike Rawlings, former Pizza Hut CEO, is running for Mayor. As the CEO of a major corporation, he made staffing cuts and streamlined operations that helped turn the pizza chain around. But when it comes to Dallas public safety, no way.

Rawlings: First thing I won't cut is police. One place that I believe we made progress is crime reduction, clear strategy, executed. Everytime I take a biz over I look at what's working and what's not. What I usually don't do is change what's working. I'm going to keep with what's working.

Read more on KERA News or watch the Mayoral candidates in the video below.

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