San Antonio is short 200 police officers, despite offering hiring bonuses and boosting entry-level pay past $40,000 to bolster its thin blue line.
Reasons for the shortage are unclear, as San Antonio’s finest have the second-highest police compensation packages in Texas, right behind big-spending Austin.
Rookies in the newest cadet class earn an average of more than $55,000 after completing a 14-week training course. Twenty-year veterans make $124,668 a year, including benefits.
Deadlocked in contract talks with the Police Officers Association, city officials maintain that San Antonio “remains one of the safest big cities in America.”
The 2,400-officer force has grown since 2006, when City Manager Sheryl Sculley added 500 police and firefighters while trimming civilian staff by 1,200.
The city is offering police a new contract guaranteeing a 16 percent increase in compensation over four years.
The POA wants more, and put up a giant freeway billboard blaring: “Is Your Family At Risk?”
“What happens when you don’t have very many officers out there to handle the calls? It’s going to take longer for them to get to your house,” said POA President Mike Helle.
Read more at Watchdog.org
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