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San Diego Hiring, Retaining More Police Officers

The San Diego Police Department says it's doing a better job hiring and retaining police officers. The department is recovering from a serious staffing shortage. KPBS reporter Andrew Phelps has detail

San Diego Hiring, Retaining More Police Officers

The San Diego Police Department says it’s doing a better job hiring and retaining police officers. The department is recovering from a serious staffing shortage. KPBS reporter Andrew Phelps has details.

Officials say the city is on track to have 2,000 police officers in uniform by the end of July. That’s still about 120 officers short of what they want. But it’s better than a year ago. Back then, 10 percent of the positions were unfilled. Senior officers were leaving San Diego for other cities that paid more. Recruiters struggled to fill academy classes.

Since then, the cops got pay raises . And Police Lieutenant Al Guaderrama says recruiters got more creative.

Guaderrama: We’re actually going out of state for the first time in the department’s history. We went to Winona, Minnesota, in October. We went to Arizona in October, and we’re planning a trip to Toledo, Ohio, in April. We’re going to be testing, and we plan on bringing some viable officers back with us.

Guaderrama says academy classes have doubled in size from a year ago.

Andrew Phelps, KPBS News.