RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The 113th basic recruit class graduated Thursday, giving the Richmond Police Department 16 new officers.
But according to Chief Alfred Durham, they join the ranks of men and women under intense pressure to work somewhere else.
Chief Durham told 8News Reporter that the city needs to think of ways to not only recruit new officers, but also keep the ones already in the ranks.
“Manpower has been a problem for us,” Durham said bluntly.
Currently, Durham’s department has less than 700 officers.
You know, the ultimate goal is working with the administration and ultimately get to about 800 sworn authorized strength,” Durham explained. “We probably won’t get to that until about 2020.”
But then there’s the problem of keeping officers. In January alone, Durham has had three officers lead the department.
“I was at a conference two weeks ago and that’s the thing: All over this country, especially in the region, we’re competing for the same human resources for bodies,” Durham said. “We have to be able to offer them something.”
On a more positive note, Durham is pleased the city is funding $1.6 million for his department to help bring in and train more recruits.
This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.