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Superior Police Department Preparing for More Than a Dozen Upcoming Retirements

March 19, 2017 10:31 PM

Last year, Superior Police Chief Nicholas Alexander says staff shortages was a big concern.

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"2016 was a difficult year. We spent a good portion of the year five to six officers down," said Alexander. "We had to force officers into extended shifts sometimes up to 16 hour days for a couple days in a row. That puts a great amount of stress on our patrol division." 

Currently, the department is operating with 55 working officers but they're preparing to lose nearly a third of their workforce.

"2017, 18 and even into 19, we project up to six retirements of senior officers each one of those years," said Alexander. "Sometime 20 to 25 years ago, alot of people got hired really close to each other so the department must off had some shortages back then."

But he says they're taking steps now to offset the upcoming challenge.

"In the past, what we would do is somebody would retire and we would seek to fill that position but that can take up to a year,"Alexander added."I pitched a proposal that we need to hire somewhere between 6 and 9 months in advance of known retirements."

From a recent hiring process, they expect up to five new officers to join their team. In addition, the Superior City Council approved around 100 thousand dollars to pay for hiring more officers.

"I think in the long run that's going to be a cost savings to the city," Alexander said.

It's a problem he says that isn't going to get fixed immediately, but he's hoping his plan will provide some relief fairly soon. 

"I'm optomistic because this is something our department hasn't been able to secure in the past," said Alexander."We'll be losing a large body of expereince with these retiring officers, hundreds of years of law enforcement expereince that will be going out the door and that certainly doesn't come without a cost to the department." 

The Police Chief also says a goal of his remains to diversify the workforce. He is hoping to do that through the current and future hiring process.


WDIO

Copyright 2017 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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