The Dallas Police Department says it plans on spending $32 million in overtime this fiscal year – more than the $17 million budgeted.
Assistant Police Chief Santos Cadena told a City Council committee yesterday the overtime has paid off.
“We have a need to overcome significant attrition and also address quality of life issues throughout the city and our use of overtime has allowed us to make strides in that regard,” he said.
More than 200 police employees have left the force over the past year, so remaining officers are working extra hours. More officers are tackling a recent crime spike by patrolling the Katy Trail, Oak Lawn, downtown and other parts of the city.
The city manager's proposed budget calls for adding at least 200 officers to the police department, as well as 5 percent raises for about two-thirds of the force.
At the committee meeting, City Council member Philip Kingston voiced concerns about the needs of Dallas PD – and the costs.
“The question becomes: can we afford our police force?” Kingston asked. “At some point, if we’re 64 percent of the budget to public safety, we have an existential question, if we can’t get better safety results than this.”
DPD has spent more than $700,000 on overtime related to last month’s deadly police shootings. They also spent $200,000 on overtime for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s visit to Dallas.
City officials are working to find leftover money in the budget to cover the extra costs. The city has saved several million dollars by leaving police positions vacant.