Wage increases, overtime expand Dallas public safety spending

Two sergeants in the Dallas Police Department each made more than $242,000 in 2021, placing them among the city's 10 highest-paid employees.

Overtime is embedded in the jobs of public safety employees throughout the country. Fire and police budgets can account for the majority of city spending. Dallas had 62% of general fund expenditures in the fiscal year 2020-21 go to public safety.

When asked to comment on how city employees could make over $100,000 in overtime, the police department said The Center Square would have to submit an open records request for that information.

The Dallas Office of Communications did not respond to questions from The Center Square.

Public safety includes police, fire, and 911 operations. According to Dallas' financial report, there was an increase in public safety expenditures "due primarily to increases in uniform police and fire employee wages."

General fund spending on police has increased nearly 20% from 2015 to 2021, rising from $440.5 million in 2015 to $526.6 million in 2021. During that time the number of uniform police full-time positions has decreased from 3,483 to 3,161 and civilian police full-time employees has increased from 545 to 637.

Fire department expenditures of $227 million in 2015 rose to $324 million in 2021, a nearly 43% increase over that six-year period. The number of uniformed fire department positions has increased from 1,901 in 2015 to 2,002 in 2021 while the number of civilian fire department full-time employees dropped from 104 to 99 during that span.

Twenty-five employees in the fire and police departments made over $200,000 in gross salary; 11 had more than $100,000 in overtime. The city's highest paid employee was City Manager T.C. Broadnax, who made $436,621.

Overtime pay lifted many public safety employees to the top of the chart for highest paid city employees.

• Deputy fire chief, fifth-highest, with $265,754 total, $106,623 in overtime.

• Five police sergeants, each making more than $100,000 in overtime, grossed over $200,000 and were among the top 20.

• A fire driver engineer, $239,350 total, and a city-high $134,611 in overtime.

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