By Mark David Smith

Police recruiters are trying to bring in hundreds of new police officers in Dallas.

Nearly 100 officers in the Dallas Police Department have quit or retired since October, according to multiple reports, worsening the department’s deficit of personnel.

Interim Police Chief David Pughes told City Council members Monday night that the department wanted to fill the next academy class with 60 officers but has only hired 30 for the February class, the Dallas Morning News reported. The department is down to 3,252 officers and wold like to have at least 3,500.

CBS 11 reported that most of the 99 who left since Oct. 1 were some of Dallas’ most experienced officers, according to the incoming president of the Dallas Police Association.

The recruitment/departure rate problems stem from the last fiscal year, which ended in September, in which 294 officers left and 142 were hired.

The Morning News reported the department has a rising crime rate on top of troubled pension funds and low salaries compared to other cities.

A recent Star-Telegram report found that the highest pay for police officers in DFW is found in the suburbs, with Hurst having the highest starting pay at $65,744. Fort Worth’s starting pay is $52,176, and Dallas is $44,658 without a 4-year college degree, $48,258 with one.

Mark David Smith: 817-390-7808, @MarkSmith_FWST

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/news/local/community/dallas/article120589238.html#storylink=cpy

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