The El Paso Police Department has been facing a major shortage in officers for several years now, according to the President of the Municipal Police Officers Association Ron Martin.
Martin says the department currently has 1,031 officers. The same amount of officers the department had almost 20-years ago.
“You look at the three studies our own city paid for, some of those studies say we should be at 1,800 officers in 2010 and we are still not even there and it is seven years later,” says Martin.
With the officer shortage, the department is having to use a different system when it comes to responding to calls.
“Instead of being a proactive department we are actually reactionary and reacting to calls for service,” says Martin.
Martin says that before when officers were assigned their district responsibility they had a quicker response rate because they had the time to patrol their designated area.
“By doing proactive things you’re actually stopping crime from even occurring which basically doesn’t get reported,” says Martin.
He says the shortage of officers comes from limited funds from the City. NewsChannel9 reached out to City representatives and heard back from Rep. Emma Acosta.
“In the past there were some shortfalls in the budget remember that we went through a recession and there were some budget short falls not only for police but for everyone,” says Acosta.
She says the City plans to increase the number of police officers with two police academies a year, which would add anywhere from 80 to 100 officers to the department annually.