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Sanders unveils police recruiting, retention plan

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders says the growing shortage of experienced police officers is a crisis. Sanders unveiled a recruitment and retention plan today at city council. KPBS Radio's Andrew Phelps has more.

The police department has 188 vacancies. Nearly 40 percent of those officers have been lost to competing agencies. Sanders acknowledged that wages are not competitive enough to keep a growing number of officers from quitting.

Sanders: "I'm committed to considering pay increases early next year. However I do not support any plan to implement pay adjustments mid-year. I think any such plan is irresponsible and takes us back down the path that got the city into the financial problems that we're in right now."

Sanders also announced a comprehensive plan to both recruit and retain police officers. Officers complain they can't afford to live in San Diego on today's salaries. The mayor had previously promised to freeze all salaries, but he said the police dropouts are a more urgent problem than the city's budget crisis. For KPBS, I'm Andrew Phelps.

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