Via the Houston Chronicle:
More than a dozen top commanders in the Houston P.D. were among 126 officers who filed retirement papers in just one week this past December adding to the mass exodus that is underway because of threats to the pension system.
The number of officers now expected to leave by July 1 — the earliest a new pension structure would take effect if Mayor Sylvester Turner can get his proposal approved by the legislature — far outstrips the typical volume of about 50, John Cannon, a Houston P.D. spokesperson said.
The upsurge in retirements at the severely understaffed agency is making a bad situation even worse. Houston, the fifth largest city in the United States, has fewer officers on the street today than it did 15 years ago when it was a much smaller municipality.
Chief Art Acevedo, the former chief of the Austin Police Department, said in a recent interview with the Houston Chronicle that he could lose 400 to 600 officers by next summer; the typical attrition rate is about 250 per year.
Acevedo said he has planned for that outcome, and was unfazed by the prospect of losing 13 of the department’s top 17 commanders. The department is too top-heavy anyway, Acevedo said, and no member is irreplaceable.