In the United States, the average salary for a police officer is $54,646 per year. Hiring candidates who share the values and vision of the community and want to “Serve and Protect’ it from harm is who we want for our Mission Police Department. We cannot do that by paying incoming police officers a mere $45,000.00 salary.

These men and women are expected to enforce the law, protect life, liberty, property, human rights, and put their lives on the line every day. How can we expect them to do this day in and day out without increasing their pay.

In 1998, the Mission Police Department had only 80 officers and 48 units. When I left the City in 2018, it was one of the safest cities with 158 officers and 115 units. Additionally, a new central police station and a new sub-station were built in the southern part of Mission to continue keeping residents safe. We were the second best paying department next to McAllen at this time.

Mayor Armando ‘Cana has abandoned our police officers. Not only did he NOT give them a well deserved raise, but he removed the 8% increase in pay that I had promised them. Additionally, I had $3.7 million secured by the TIRZ #1 Board for a new Fire and Police Substation to be built on Schuerbach & Military Roads which has yet to be started. On February 11, 2021, O’Caña and the council had a groundbreaking ceremony for this substation and nearly 14 months later, there is still NOTHING, not one brick laid out on the ground.

Information to date states they are still in the design phase. O’Caña is incapable of completing a project that was left funded, how can one expect him to bring forth new growth for the city of his own accord?

My top priority is the safety of our citizens in Mission and the best way to accomplish this is with the retention of our current Mission Police Department Officers and to hire the best officers available in the future.

I am committed to starting our Probationary Officers at $55,000.00 a year with a $3,000.00 increase after successfully completing their first 90 days. A first year officer will see a salary of $58,000.00 that first year with a 3% increase in salary every year thereafter up to their fifth year of service. Every officer currently on payroll will receive a $6,000.00 raise in my first year of service and a 3% raise every year after that for 5 years. We currently have 164 officers and we must hire at minimum 20 more to replace those officers that are currently assigned to the school districts.

All our Mission Police Officers must have the security of knowing they will sleep at home with their families. My commitment is to work more closely with the Police Department so that they have the best salary and benefits, more officers, constant training, better equipment, more patrol units, and the newest technology so that they can continue to provide the best service for the citizens of Mission.

I am Beto Salinas and with your support, Mission will, once again, be the safest city on the United States Border.

Editor’s Note: The above guest column was penned by former Mission, Texas, mayor Norberto ‘Beto’ Salinas. Salinas served as mayor for 20 years, from 1998 to 2018. He is running again for mayor in this year’s city elections. Salinas can be reached by email via: [email protected].

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