DALLAS -- The City of Dallas can't seem to keep cops from leaving for other cities and all signs point to that problem only getting worse.
"We are truly in a catastrophic policing and fire problem right now," said Michael Mata, president of the Dallas Police Association. "Between the 400 that left last year, and the 500 [projected to leave] this year, that's a third of our manpower.
"We would tell some officers, 'You don't want to go to a small town because you won't be able to move around, learn as much, do as much police work.' Well, hello! Now the big cities are coming for ya."
Case in point? San Antonio. SAPD took out billboard ads in Dallas recently, promising a signing bonus and a "strong pension," in an apparent effort to poach experienced officers right off the force in Big D. They even have recruiting events here next week, according to their Facebook page!
"They're doing what all the other cities are doing to us," said Mata. "They found out that they can have a huge financial windfall in savings by taking our officers rather than having to pay to train them themselves. The City of Dallas pays roughly $150,000 to train an officer."
Mata says it's no surprise cities are more than happy to let Dallas foot that training bill or that officers would want to go someplace with better compensation.
"You have a below average pay, below average pension, and it's easy pickin's for the other cities that have way better pay and way better pension," Mata told NewsFix. "And I understand the citizens, they see me on TV, and I'm always asking for better pay and better benefits. But now I think they can believe that what I'm telling them is the truth when they're seeing outside cities coming here advertising to take the best that we have. When they call 9-1-1, you want the best quality officers taking that call. Now we're losing those officers."