Sunday, July 12, 2015

DPS brass gets massive pay hikes, again

DPS brass continues to enjoy financial rewards that front-line state employees or managers in the private sector could only dream about. Reported the Dallas News, "DPS Director Steve McCraw and 56 agency executives have been given double-digit raises, with most increases reaching 17 percent." Some readers may recall that the Austin Statesman reported three years ago:
When Gov. Rick Perry made Steve McCraw the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety in 2009, only a dozen DPS employees earned $100,000 a year or more at the notoriously tight-fisted agency.

[As of 2012, there were] 73, reflecting an enormous growth in DPS management positions and pay since McCraw, an ex-FBI agent who formerly led the governor’s Homeland Security office, took charge of the department in August 2009.
Under the new management pay scheme, though:
McCraw will now be paid $214,672 annually, up from $183,498. Two deputy directors, David Baker and Robert Bodisch, saw their yearly base pay rise from $176,460 to $206,458.

Figures released by DPS this month show that 15 assistant directors will now be paid $193,330 a year. Seven regional commanders will receive an increase to $176,026. Also, 32 deputy assistant directors will see their annual salaries rise to $161,109.
By contrast, reported the News, "Earlier this year, the Legislature granted many state employees a raise of 2.5 percent to offset increased contributions by workers to their pension fund." So most state employees at best broke even, while DPS managers were rewarded as though they hadn't been responsible for the ignominious failed border surge which has made the rest of the state measurably less safe.

There was no looming threat that these managers were going to leave state employment if they weren't compensated in such an over-the-top fashion. It's not like the free market is offering comparable pay for police administrators. And it begs credulity to imagine these raises were based on pay-for-performance: There's no way managerial productivity gains matched these pay hikes.

A cynic might suggest the state is throwing good money after bad, rewarding folks for going along to get along as first Rick Perry and now the Legislature politicized the agency and its mission. That probably overstates things, just as does the agency's claim that the raises are all merit based. The truth likely lies somewhere in between, though perhaps a bit closer to the cynics' camp than to those justifying the raises.


Anonymous said...

Up until McCraw's time, the agency did have a real sense of impartiality and independence. The lege respected the information presented upon request and in return the lege dealt fairly with DPS. Now being a party-represented agency has blotted all that away. By God, you better be a Republican if you want to work there and you better toe the political line as well or you'll be cast into the void of rural Texas. They want team players, not sound reasoning. I respect McCraw as his first LE job was DPS. His return as done nothing but expand the cost that in no reasonable sense of the word can be sustained after his departure. The next Director will likely gut the agency again, just like Steve did, to ensure committed loyal representatives in the ranks could step forward. As much as I love that agency, I know that the house of cards will fall one day. Right, too big to fail? We're seeing that failure present day. Border problems, yes. Armored vehicles, armed aircraft, and militarized troops in the weeds was not the purpose or intent of that agency. Someone should step up and put hem back on task now before all the money is waste in overtime and lawsuits.

Anonymous said...

Well said, Anon 10:20:00!!! Sounds like we both feel the same about the "old" agency, and are not impressed with the changes made in the "new" agency.

Anonymous said...

WOW... yes well said! I never agree with a system where the ranks are paid disparingly less than the equally qualified but less tenured supervisors. This whispers dictatorship.... I would love GFB to list the salary scale of TROOPERS. The required duties of said troopers, to include border protection is something to recognize. Doesn't appear it is being recognized by pay.

Anonymous said...

With automated vehicles coming online State Troopers jobs will slowly disappear. No more speeding vehicles, drunk drivers, or accidents caused by human error. Computerized cars will soon take over the highway. DPS over the next decade will be in decline as the next age of technical advances kicks in. The familiar black and whites with lights on top will be a thing of the past. Welcome to the age of cameras, drones, and big brother.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't Duke Bodish involved in the old Texas Narcotics Program scandal?

Anonymous said...

Houston Chronicle 6/10/2001:

The head of Gov. Rick Perry's Narcotics Control Program (Bodisch) is being reassigned and possibly demoted after showing "a lack of judgment" while running the anti-drug trafficking effort.

Feb. 2014:

Public Safety Committee approved the appointment of Robert J. “Duke” Bodisch as the DPS Deputy Director of Homeland Security.