Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Dallas Po-Po Poaching Recruits in Houston

Via guest blogger Alexandria Ragsdale at Off the Kuff, Dallas police aren't just recruiting heavily in Houston, they're offering a starting salary more than $10K higher than Houston PD and another $10K as a signing bonus. Wrote Ragsdale:
A side-by-side comparison of salaries and benefits for police officers in Houston and Dallas showed why they think they can get away with this. In Dallas, the base pay for police trainees is $41,690 (plus the $10,000 bonus). In Houston, the same trainee would make just $29,164.59. Things even out a little more after that, but being a cop in Dallas doesn't sound too bad - except, of course, the Dallas part.


Unknown said...

Thanks for the link, but Matt Stiles of the Chron left a comment on my post that clarified the salary disparity and I wanted to make sure your readers weren't led astray. What Matt said:

I've covered both departments.

These figures are a litle misleading, because the police union here years ago decided to push for extra incentive pay, as opposed to higher rates of base pay, in the contract.

Dallas police officers make more in base salary, but Houston cops earn many thousands of dollars in extra money for uniform pay, state certification pay, equipment pay, wake up in the morning pay, etc.

There are dozens of incentives, it seems, so a side-by-side comparison isn't quite fair.

Also, officers here reach their rank's max pay more quickly than those in Dallas, thanks to the raise schedule in the contract.

(Still, $10,000 in bonus money ain't a bad recruiting tool).

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Thanks, Alex, that helps clarify things a lot.

Anonymous said...

"the dallas part" is right on. i grew up in houston, lived in dallas for several years and finally moved back to h-town. houstonians are whole lot nicer bunch of folks than dallasites. dallas ain't bad, but the folks just don't seem as friendly. i gotta wonder if it makes being a cop harder, or does it make any difference? is it worth 10k to go to dallas?

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Maybe it's because I grew up 90 miles away in Tyler and Dallas was the "Big City" nearby, but I like Dallas. If you know where to go, Big D can be a very entertaining city and I've enjoyed some good times there. Or you can get stuck living in a suburb, spend half your life in a commute, never meet anybody, and live a crappy existence there. I've had friends and family who've exemplified both those renditions of Dallas living. Same with Houston. A lot of people love it. And some leave with a sour taste in their mouths.

That said, while you hear plenty of songs about going home to Houston, I can't think of that many longing for Dallas. A Lounge Lizards song has a chorus declaring, "I'm going back to Dallas, Texas, to see if anything can be worse than losing you." I can't think of a comparable artistic dis for H-Town. ;)

Anonymous said...

I'd start cops at $85K or 90K, make them all reapply for their jobs for that salary, demand residency in the city limits, ban overtime at nightclubs and places like that, and tell them to get out of the damned HOV lanes here in Houston in their personal cars unless they have more than one person in the car.

I'd pay them in way that shows what they do is has value and merits respect, while at the same time demanding some discipline.