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Dallas Mayor Wants Audit of Police Overtime Program Despite Opposing Funding Cut

Police funding is once again making an appearance on the stage of Dallas politics as Mayor Eric Johnson calls for an audit of the police department’s overtime program, which was cut by $7 million against Johnson’s wishes when the city council passed the budget in September.

The mayor reportedly stated on Monday that Dallas residents “deserve to know” if the overtime program at the Dallas Police Department (DPD) is being “abused or mismanaged.”

Though Johnson went to bat for DPD throughout this year’s budget talks, the mayor has publicly attributed increasing violence in the city to what he perceives as a failure on the part of exiting police Chief Renee Hall to deliver on promises to reduce crime. Hall said last month that she was “offended” and “exhausted” by the mayor’s posture toward DPD.

When Hall appeared before the city council as it considered cutting the overtime budget, she testified that it is simply impossible for DPD to reliably control or predict crime waves and that the department needed the overtime resources. She also contended that the program was not being abused.

In his recent state of the city address, Johnson characterized the nature of his role in city government as shepherding reforms and holding executives accountable for producing results for the city.

The call for an audit occurs as City Manager T.C. Broadnax ponders who will be Dallas’ chief of police. Last week, Johnson expressed hope that Broadnax would focus specifically on the qualifications of the candidates.

“We have a diverse group of finalists, and I am hopeful that the city manager will select the best person for the job, regardless of race or gender,” Johnson said. “What our city needs most is a police chief who is dedicated to making all of our communities safer.”

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