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Council request mayor to reconsider police budget

San Diego city council members took an in depth look at the mayor's proposed budget for Public Safety today. They want to do more about the shortage of police officers. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

In spite of the mandate to hold the line on costs, the city council wants the mayor to spend more on recruitment and retention of police officers. Councilman Jim Madaffer says 51 police officers have left the city for other agencies in the past year, and every officer who's been in the force five years represent half a million dollars in training..

Madaffer: "That's a $25 million phantom bill that the people of San Diego are paying, it's just not on the budget."

The council's budget analyst suggests spending two million dollars on civilians to take over jobs that would free up police officers to be out on the streets. Police Chief Bill Lansdowne says he will announce a major new recruitment and retention strategy next week. Alison St John, KPBS News.

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