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Longer response times due to police shortage


Police response times have increased because officers are leaving San Diego for agencies in other cities where the pay is higher is the cost of living is lower. The department is also having a tough time finding enough recruits to fill slots at police training academies. KPBS Reporter Amita Sharma has more.

Police Chief Bill Lansdowne says out-of-reach housing prices combined with the city's pension problems have prompted at least 36 officers to leave in the past year. The shortage of officers has caused response times to crimes in progress to jump 20 percent. Lansdowne says attracting and keeping good officers is the most critical challenge facing his department.

Lansdowne: "It is heartbreaking to me as the chief of police in this city to have 20 year police officers who have dedicated all that time to this organization to pick and leave and go to another city because of some personal decisions."

Several San Diego officers have relocated to police departments in Riverside County where home prices are much cheaper. Amita Sharma, KPBS News

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