Aurora, Colorado 2021-09-16 22:00:58 –
Aurora, Colorado-The Aurora Police Department quickly lost police, leaving the city and spending thousands of dollars overtime to maintain enough police on the streets.
“It’s very worrisome,” said Vanessa Wilson, Chief of the Aurora Police Department. “If it’s a life-threatening call, we’re on the road, and if it’s a property crime, it’s probably waiting.”
Wilson acknowledged the problem and said the department was doing its best to prioritize the phone. Since January 2020, the division has lost 176 officers.
“Obviously, as a leader, I have to think and say,’Is there anything I can do better?'” She said.
The small number of officers means that more and more people are being asked to work overtime to make up for the shortage of staff.
According to internal records obtained by Denver7 Investigates, Aurora officers recorded 719 hours of overtime from late June to the end of July 2021.
“Overtime is a major concern,” said Mark Sears, head of the Aurora Police Union.
Sears said there was another invisible cost while overtime kept police officers on the street.
“They are burned out and don’t get the support they need,” he said.
The email record shows an internal conversation detailing how serious the shortage has become.
In June, District One Watch Commander sent an email similar to the following: Fanatic (sic) minimal staffing. “
“I can’t remember the last time I didn’t see overtime demands every day,” Sears said.
Denver7 shared an email with Mayor of Aurora, Pro Tem Francoise Bergan.
“Minimum staffing is an illusion, wow,” she replied.
Bergan said she felt frustrated for the officers.
“Public security is a top priority and is sufficient,” she said.
Another email from July 2021 begged executives to work essentially overtime.
“Today there is no reaction to the swing. I’m at least 6 years old, criticized 3 years old … do you guys have an extra body?”
“”Waiting for an individual to make a call is longer than I would like, longer than the city executives, the council, or anyone in the community would like, “Wilson said.
According to Wilson, if the department does not meet the minimum staff, the department calls the emergency response team, which applies only to large calls, including violent crimes and missing persons.
“We are doing our best,” she said.
“We fight what they are afraid of,” Sears said. “And if you can sleep well at night and don’t have to worry about your family being sacrificed, you should start worrying about the police station.”
According to Wilson, the division is paying additional overtime to save money from open officer positions. APD is also working to hire more cops, but she said it would take more than a year for a new cops to work alone on the street. New employees are required to attend both the academy and training.
Wilson accused police of reduced support, changes in state law, and a surge in police officers in the battle for sectoral reforms found in a Colorado State Department investigation. Routinely violates state and federal law Through undue force and racially biased police use, and after some attention-grabbing incidents that shed police officers in a negative way because of their actions.
The chief said he didn’t expect daily emails requesting overtime to be delayed, but Wilson doesn’t support forced overtime.
And it’s not just the aurora. The Denver Sheriff’s Office (DSD) has lost 187 members as of September 10, 2020.
DSD requires overtime, and agents may face disciplinary action if they do not work.
As of Tuesday, the Sheriff’s Office said no Denver agent had been disciplined for refusing to work overtime, but two are currently being disciplined.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said it has lost more than 100 lawmakers since 2020. It also requires prison employees to work overtime.
Denver police have confirmed that they have lost 164 officers since 2020. In 2020, 78 officers were lost, and as of July 2021, 86 were lost. DPD does not require overtime.
In comparison, Lakewood police have lost far fewer police officers than other agencies. Fifty-five officers have left the army since 2020, saying they are not required to work overtime.
Internal records detail dire staffing shortage at Aurora PD Source link Internal records detail dire staffing shortage at Aurora PD