It’s been now two months since five members of Dallas law enforcement were gunned down on the city’s streets while protecting free speech for the rest of us.
We finally had to admit what officers have complained about for years: We need more of them.
However, despite the dangers of the job, they’re paid less than their counterparts in smaller, surrounding communities, and many leave the “world-class city” for those jobs.
City leaders declared something must, and will, be done and done quickly.
But then, the promises of the moment ran into the realities of the city’s pocketbook.
Some suggested adding more officers, but giving the extra money to new hires or phasing in pay increases over a series of years.
We just don’t have the money to do it all now, they say.
What gives all that such a hollow ring are the multitude of other suggestions for city projects that have come up since the shooting.
For example, I love the downtown deck park, but any talk of expansion or adding parking (as has been suggested), should be put on hold until police get what they need.
That should be true for any new initiative: If it’s going to cost the city money, it’s got to line up behind getting money for police.
The primary role of any government is to protect its citizens and their property.
We promised two months ago that a change was coming for officers — something beyond waving “back the blue” stickers and an occasional pat on the back.
We do not intend to let the leadership of this city forget that.
Those are my thoughts, you can tell me yours at firstname.lastname@example.org or by commenting on the WFAA-TV Facebook post for this commentary.
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