05/14/02 Pay Referendum
A LETTER TO THE
CITIZENS OF DALLAS
On May 4th,
the citizens of Dallas disproved the notion that they support the police
officers and firefighters of Dallas. The citizens demonstrated they were content
for their police and firefighters to risk their lives daily for pay that is near
the bottom for public safety employees in the metroplex.
Now that their eyes have been opened, Dallas public safety employees will vote.
They will vote with their feet. Many younger ones with less than ten years
on the job will leave in increasing numbers to join other agencies that pay a
competitive wage. Many older officers near retirement who were considering
putting another year or two in on the job will go ahead and retire. As for those
in the middle with too much time invested to go elsewhere but too far from
retirement, their morale will be so low that many of them will no longer go
above and beyond but will instead only do the necessary and not one bit
This is simple reality.
As to what will happen in Dallas over the next few years -- Hiring
standards will be lowered in an attempt to gain bodies, no matter their
qualifications or lack of same. Corruption and scandals will increase when
those unqualified officers are put out on the street to interact with the
citizens of Dallas.
There is an old saying "you get what you pay for".
You blew it, Dallas. You had a chance to maintain one the finest police
departments in the country. You decided that you only wanted to pay for a
second-class department. Do not be surprised when that is what you get.
Richard G. Butler
Dallas, TX 75227