AUSTIN (KXAN) — Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson made it clear he’s actively recruiting APD officers who might be thinking of retiring in a tweet Saturday morning.
The tweet reads, “If you work for Austin PD, are still interested in protecting and serving, and are considering retiring from the profession, don’t. Come work for the residents of @CityOfDallas by joining @DallasPD. We want and need you. #BigDallasEnergy.”
This comes days after the Austin City Council unanimously voted on Thursday to extend police salaries and benefits for officers if the current contract expires next month.
The council voted to go with a one-year extension of the contract instead of accept the tentative four-year deal former city manager Spencer Cronk announced before his firing.
President of the Austin Police Retired Officers Association Dennis Farris said he’s heard of at least 35 officers that have filed retirement papers. He thinks that’s just the beginning.
“I think it’s going to settle somewhere between 100 and 150,” Farris said. “It’s the officers with less than 10 years down here, who are simply going to leave because there are other opportunities from other cities who value the training these guys get, and how good cops they really are.”
APD Chief Joseph Chacon previously said officer retention is a critical issue but that this extension is a short term fix to that.
“I think that it can make a difference in whether they want to stay or not. Now if it works or not… that remains to be seen,” Chief Chacon said.
Austin Mayor Kirk Watson said extending salaries and benefits until a contract can be worked out sends a message to officers that the city cares about them and want to reach an agreement.