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New Staffing Study Says DPD Can Be Operated More Efficiently

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) — After losing hundreds of Dallas police officers during the past several years, a highly-anticipated report says the Dallas Police Department needs to become more efficient.

The city of Dallas released the nearly 400 page report Friday.

The KPMG report says one major concern within DPD is that officers feel as if they can't be proactive in reducing crime.

Staff attributed their lack of capacity to be proactive with the recent reductions in staffing. We do agree that staffing levels could be increased in some areas with the right type of staff.

But even so, the report says the department must make changes.

A realignment of strategy, goals, mission, and tactics would yield the highest return to the DPD, even above and beyond an increase in staffing.

Council Member Jennifer Gates welcomed the study.

"It tells us how to optimize the current staff that we have in place related to scheduling and efficiencies, so it is good information that will help us make our current DPD force more effective," Gates said.

The department has about three thousand officers, and President of the Dallas Police Association Mike Mata, says he believes more officers are needed.

"We need in the neighborhood of 3600 to 3700 officers. It's a decade fix," Mata said. "I've always said it's going to take ten years to get us back where we need to be."

The study comes as council members are set to vote on a budget that spends $53 million more for police and fire — much of it for a new three-year contract.

Under the new agreement, starting police officers and firefighters would be paid more than $61,000 — an increase from the $60,000 they received in January. That's far higher than the $49,000 they received before.

Council Member Gates says, "It's all good news. Now, we just need to go out there and bring in new officers and hopefully be able to retain."

Mata says the agreement also focuses on retaining DPD officers who've been with the force seven to 15 years. Many of which have left for higher-paying departments.

And while DPD has recently recruited more officers, it still hasn't kept up entirely with those who've left.

"I think we're going to keep more officers, those 200 officers who would naturally retire every year, I think we're not going to lose 200. I think more will stay longer," Mata said. "For once, we didn't kick that can down the street. We actually fixed a problem so I'm very confident this is going to pass."

Council members will be briefed on the new meet and confer contract at a Monday morning meeting. They will have to give final approval of the agreement after members of the police and fire associations vote on it.

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