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Public Safety

San Diego Police Staffing Problem Growing Worse

San_Diego_Police_Department_car_1.jpg
San Diego Police Staffing Problem Growing Worse
It’s been well-reported that the San Diego Police Department has been struggling to keep officers from leaving, but a new report shows the situation is getting worse.

Average Monthly Officer Attrition Rate By Fiscal Year

2010: 5.6

2011: 5.8

2012: 7.9

2013: 9.9

2014: 13.5

2015: 14.5 (based on two months of data)

Source: IBA

It’s been well-reported that the San Diego Police Department has been struggling to keep officers from leaving, but a new report shows the situation is getting worse.

City Independent Budget Analyst Andrea Tevlin said in a report released Thursday the average number of San Diego officers leaving the department each month is now nearly triple the rate in 2010. From July to September, 29 officers have left the department, she said.

That works out to an average of 14.5 a month — the department anticipated losing only nine officers per month, according to the report.

IBA Report On SDPD Staffing
A report from the city of San Diego's Independent Budget Analyst reviews data on the department's staffing levels from July 1 to Sept. 1, 2014.
To view PDF files, download Acrobat Reader.

Although Tevlin said the report is preliminary because it relies on only two months of data, if the attrition rate continues, the Police Department would experience a net loss of two sworn personnel by the end of this fiscal year. That's because the department is authorized to bring on 172 new academy hires over the next fiscal year, but losing 14.5 officers each month would result in 174 departures.

The department experienced a net loss of two officers last year.

MORE: San Diego's Police Officer Retention Problems Hit New Low

Additionally, the report shows officers increasingly are leaving to join other police agencies. Of the 29 officers who left the department during the last two months, seven went to other agencies — a monthly average of 3.5. Back in 2010, the monthly average was 0.7. Last year, it was 1.4.

To increase staffing, Tevlin suggested increasing the class size of future police academies and upping the department's uniform allowance. The report also recommended the City Council review the results of a statewide officer compensation study, which is expected early next month, to determine the "feasability" of boosting San Diego officers' pensionable pay.

The council's Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods Committee, chaired by Councilwoman Marti Emerald, will hear the IBA's full report on Sept. 18.