In a growing number of American cities, if you call the police, there are fewer officers taking the call.
Police departments across the nation are raising concerns about current and future staffing levels. CNN reached out to nearly 20 departments nationwide, along with other key stakeholders including elected officials, union officials and outside recruiters for departments for this story.
They all point to similar concerns including Covid-19, the great resignation, the climate for law enforcement and local reform efforts that are making recruitment and retention difficult.
The challenges have led the chief of police in Durham, North Carolina, to join her officers in patrolling her own city. The department is down 90 officers out of a budgeted force of 627. The department has started to offer a $5,000 bonus for new hires to fill its ranks.
“It’s been tough,” Chief Patrice Andrews said of the current staffing issues facing her city. “We’ve had to be very creative with staffing, you know, putting investigators and those that typically wouldn’t necessarily be taking 911 calls, putting them back on the street.” Continue Reading