Everyone exiting Galveston is getting a look at the result of the city’s troubles with its police union.

The Galveston Municipal Police Association paid for the billboard that thanks people for visiting Galveston, “home of the worst police retirement in Texas.” 

The association functions separately from the Galveston Police Department, but represents police interests.

City officials explained in a statement, “the Police Pension fund has been managed by a Board comprised of majority of police officers. Unfortunately, this potential conflict was written into the law which established the Police Pension.”

In January 2018, the station pension review panel released an intensive actuary review of the Galveston Employees’ Retirement Plan for Police. The report found Galveston has been underfunding the city’s police pension for more than 15 years. Police officers are contributing more to the plan than they’ll ultimately review. The board determined that the fund’s issues stem from inadequate contributions, poor investment returns, increased payments to beneficiaries and uneven ratio of those paying into the plan versus those receiving from it.

The city’s statement calls for a change in the police pension board members and a slight increased retirement age. 

“The decisions that lead to the current state of the fund could possibly have been avoided had a more balanced Board been in place.” 

They add that no other city plans officers such an early retirement age. Right now, the pension plan allows members a full retirement at age 50.

Several Galveston Municipal Police Association members did not immediately respond to multiple inquires sent by KHOU.