If approved, the 2017-2018 City of Dallas proposed budget stands to drastically increase staffing for both the Dallas Fire and Police departments. Other improvements would include pay increases, improved pensions, adding emergency units, and improving technology. The proposal would allocate the following improvements for Dallas Public Safety:
- Increasing pay for police officers and firefighters through the Meet and Confer agreement approved by the City Council in 2016.
- Contributing $151 million to the Police and Fire Pension to secure the retirements of first responders.
- Recruiting 241 new firefighters and 250 police officers in FY 2017-18, bringing the number of sworn employees to 1,936 in Fire-Rescue and 3,094 in Police.
- Adding one full-time rescue unit, or ambulance, and overtime for peak demand periods.
- Enhancing technology and bolstering staffing for 911 to improve resilience and our ability to respond quickly
The proposal has many opponents, as fiscal limitations would appear to make the increase difficult. While proponents, such as the Dallas Fire Chief, believe they can make it work. Either way it is certainly a step in the right direction. To see the entire 2017-2018 budget proposal, click the link below: