Lafayette Police Department working to address officer shortage

LAFAYETTE, Louisiana (KLFY) – The Lafayette Police Department There is still a shortage of officers, but they are working on it. Two months ago there was a shortage of about 10% and half a dozen officers were on leave.

Improvements in staffing shortages are now being impacted by retirements. Sergeant Kristina Strong is the number cruncher when it comes to recruiting. The LPD’s “Interview Now” initiative has proven to be worthwhile.

Strong said the department has spoken to 200 applicants for possible positions such as police officers, police dispatchers or case managers. In fact, 12 new officers are about to hit the streets. “Starting next week, they’ll be out there with field training officers. They won’t be alone yet, they’ll be out there in uniform taking calls with a shift trainer,” Strong said.

The 10% officer shortage is not over yet. “We’re still staying pretty close to that 10% because we’ve had some retirements recently. Those retirements caused us to increase the number a couple of times, and then within a week, decrease it a couple of times,” Strong explained.

Regardless, the LPD continues to work to resolve the staffing shortage and keep the residents of Lafayette safe. Staffing is an ongoing project. Strong explains that one minute they can be fully staffed, but then someone retires and the numbers change. “The people that are retiring are currently higher ranks. When they retire, we promote them and then some come off the street. I am actively filling those positions. I am optimistic that hopefully I will be able to fill all of those positions very soon,” Strong explained.

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