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Police departments across the US deal with staffing shortages

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Posted at 8:11 PM, Aug 08, 2022

Police departments across the United States are finding it hard to retain officers and improve overall staffing shortages in localities in various parts of the country.

As Axios reported, with murder rates up about 30% across the U.S. in 2020, it's the largest increase since the early 1960s when record-keeping on the matter first began.

As the Associated Press reported, officers report being burned out after dealing with the pandemic and by calls to defund the police after the murder of George Floyd.

Philadelphia Police spokesperson Eric Gripp said, “We’re getting more calls for service and there are fewer people to answer them.” 

The city of Los Angeles is down over 650 officers from pre-pandemic staffing levels, according to the Associated Press.

In Massachusetts, the state police have faced staffing shortages. In 2021 police departments in the state expected to lose up to 250 officers, so leadership moved almost four dozen troopers tasked with investigating major crimes like homicides over to perform street patrols.

Kansas City Police Interim Chief Joseph Maybin described staffing shortages there, saying, "The people (who) work here are working long hours, extra overtime to cover other shifts," while describing conditions at the 911 call center to CNN.

CNN reported that the Dallas Police Department is short about 550 officers, and in Portland they are operating while trying to fill about 100 officer positions.

Seattle announced plans in June to fill vacancies while the city is down over 400 officers since 2019. The city wants to hire 500 officers and is offering hiring bonuses, Axios reported.