DALLAS -- After months of fighting for better pay, the Dallas Police Association said they are celebrating a victory Wednesday.
The Dallas City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to pass an amended $43.8-million public safety budget that includes raises for officers, made possible by record tax revenues.
Councilman Adam McGough introduced the amendment that ultimately passed, partly because it lowers the tax rate slightly and does not dig into the reserves.
It added a "step" to the top of the officer pay scale, which would allow veteran officers who have maxed out their "step increases" to get five-percent pay raises, on top of the double step increases outlined in City Manager A.C. Gonzales’ budget proposal.
It also budgets for the hiring of 449 new officers. That's 100 fewer new hires in fiscal year 2017 than in the original budget proposal, which allows for $4.7 million to fund pay increases for veteran officers.
Even though the city unanimously passed the proposal, it is ultimately up to the unions and the city manager to iron out the details in the ongoing "meet-and-confer" process.
"Now, the meet-and-confer team can go back with the city manager, they can sit down and iron out some details, now that they have the money to negotiate with. It’s a good thing for everybody," said Frederick Frazier, vice president of the Dallas Police Association.
"It’s a huge victory for police and fire, because it’s showing them a morale boost that they’re working together," Frazier said. "Sometimes you have to wake somebody up and say, 'This is what’s happening to your city, look at your response times.'"
Currently, Dallas Police Department officers are among the lowest paid in North Texas. DPA has said that DPD was losing officers to better paying jobs elsewhere.
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