TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - According to the Tucson Police Officer's Association (TPOA), 66 officers have left the department this year. At nearly $100,000 in training costs (in salary and benefits), loss of officers have cost TPD $6.6 million dollars just this year.
TPOA says higher pay and getting more officers on the force is a big part of boosting morale at the department. About two years ago, the department had more than 1000 officers, but currently, there are about 815 sworn officers.
But that doesn't mean 815 officers are on the streets. Only about 350 are able to be out on patrol, and this is forcing those officers to work a lot of overtime and slower response times to citizens' calls.
Fewer officers on patrol is also safety concern to officers and the community, and TPOA says they worry this will impact the kinds of calls officers are able to respond to.
TPOA says they've sat down with the Chief of Police as well as city leaders to ask for better options for police officers, but they've seen little change.
TPOA is asking the community to reach out to city council members and advocate for more funding for public safety.
KGUN9 did reach out to TPD and to the Mayor's Office for comment, but we did not get a response.