Should Police Officers Live in the City They Patrol?

In two major Texas police departments, only one in five officers choose to live in the city they serve.

By Rhonda FanningSeptember 30, 2015 10:07 am| ,

There are lots of reasons people choose not to live in the cities where they work: cheaper housing, better schools, personal safety, or just wanting some distance between you and the 9-to-5.

In the Dallas and Houston police departments, most officers live in the suburbs.

According to the Dallas Morning News, Mayor Mike Rawlings says police should have more of a personal stake in the cities they patrol.

And today, the Houston City Council is set to vote on a plan to try to convince more of their police officers to live in certain Houston zip codes. The incentive: an extra $25,000, payable over three years.

Douglas Griffith, vice president of the Houston Police Officers Union, says he’s “not interested” in the program.

“We all have constitutional rights as to where we’d like to live, what we like to do,” he says. “Mandating that an officer live within the city in which he patrols, I just believe that might violate that.”

Listen to the interview with Douglas Griffith in the audio player above.