In the comments, Don Dickson of the Texas State Troopers Association (a frequent Grits commenter) points out that the Department of Public Safety did the same thing last year. Another commenter referenced this article from WFAA-TV in Dallas giving more detail about the DPS pay hikes, which ranged from 21-43% for top brass, compared to 3.5-10% for top employees at TYC.
TYC's timing was worse, but DPS' raises arguably are just as problematic. DPS' real salary shortfall is with frontline troopers, not top brass. At the Texas Public Policy Foundation event yesterday, Whitmire mentioned that DPS troopers are 300 officers short of full staffing because their pay isn't competitive with larger Texas police departments. Giving raises to brass while front-line troopers' jobs remain vacant because they pay below market rates makes no more sense than the raises at TYC. Given legislators' reaction to TYC raises, I wonder if they'll demand DPS roll back recent administrator pay hikes as well?
MORE: From a discussion forum at the Texas State Troopers Association:
This what the Legislature needs to know:
In 2008, DPS had 9 employees making over $100K per year and 26 employees making over $90K per year. By 2010, DPS had 49 employees making over $100K per year and 57 employees making over $90K per year. The salary for DPS Officers from the rank of Trooper through Captain remained the same, the positions at DPS receiving the huge 25% to 43% pay raises were Directors,Commanders, Majors, and Managers, and many of those positions were newly created positions.