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By September 26, 2016 Read More →

The Unthinkable May Come to Pass

come-to-pass

Officers are justifiably outraged when their pension funds have been mismanaged and their security is threatened. It’s a hard job with enormous risks and those who take it on should get everything they are due when they retire.

By all accounts, Dallas Police Department’s pension fund is in a bad way. Rumors that the fund could become insolvent are rampant and there have been scores of retirements including the Chief, David Brown, and the president of the union, Ron Pinkston.

The crisis comes as the Dallas Police Department negotiates with City Hall to raise pay and build its ranks, which union leaders say have been depleted by low pay and poor working conditions. There are currently 3,355 officers in a department that once had 3,600.

Problems with the Dallas Police and Fire Pension system have been simmering for years and were coming to a head when the July 7 sniper attack temporarily united the city. But, in recent weeks, the pension crisis has boiled up again because of fears about the system’s viability and pleas for calm from fund administrators.

“I wanted to make sure that I was able to move it and get it invested somewhere safe,” the outgoing president of the Dallas Police Association, Ron Pinkston, told local TV. “I don’t know anything anybody else doesn’t know that has been doing their homework. And hopefully everybody that’s in my position, that’s thinking about it, is doing their homework, is checking their numbers.”

In a statement, Pinkston also accused city leaders of “running off talented officers” with bad pay and benefits and warned that “Dallas is on a dangerous path toward a future marred with fear and violence.”

The police and fire pension fund spent almost a decade basing its financial health on artificially inflated asset values from risky real estate investments, according to its executive director. After devaluing those assets to reflect actual worth, the plan is about 45 percent funded and projected to run out of money in less than 15 years, Texas Pension Review Board numbers show.

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Posted in: The Enemy

1 Comment on "The Unthinkable May Come to Pass"

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  1. Phillip O.Norton says:

    Your attention is directed to the ongoing pension fight in the City of San Jose,California. Over three years ago the then mayor submitted a proposition to the voters to amend the City charter to change pension and disability language. The net effect was disastrous. The Police Dept. lost over 500 Officers from resignations and early retirements. San Jose has a population of over one million now being policed by about 850 officers. The City tried to hire their way out of the problem they created but the latest academy graduated seven recruits. That is similar to previous academies. The proposition was attacked by the Police Officers Association successfully on the grounds that the City absolutely refused repeated requests by the POA to Meet and Confer under the provisions of State law. The entire proposition is now awaiting a vote of the people in November to reverse the original vote to amend the City Charter. Meanwhile the Police Dept. has now been forced to operate under a declaration of a state of emergency. That action negated all provisions of contracts between the POA and the City. The Dept. is now operating with forced overtime to answer 911 calls. The Bureau of investigations has ceased in effect,to exist as have specialized units. The original vote to amend the pension plan was based on fictitious fiscal data put forth by the mayor even after he was caught doing so publically. This is an interesting case to follow.
    I am a retired Lieutenant and former President of the San Jose Police Officers Association.

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