Police Department Sworn Staffing: Hiring and Attrition Trends in Early FY 2015

Source: City of San Diego, Office of the Independent Budget Analyst, IBA Report Number: 14-34, September 11, 2014

…However, despite the addition of budgeted positions and increased resources for hiring, the department has faced challenges in its efforts to increase the number of actual filled sworn positions. Officer attrition has significantly impaired the department’s ability to meet its sworn staffing goals. For example, in FY 2014, the department hired 160 new officers but lost 162 to attrition, resulting in a net loss of two officers. Additionally, as veteran officers leave the department and are replaced by new recruits, the department loses the benefit of those officers’ years of experience. Currently, more than half of officers working patrol have six or fewer years of experience. Using available staffing data from the first two months of FY 2015, this report examines the challenges the Police Department continues to face related to attrition. We also review the City’s investments in police officer recruitment and retention thus far in FY 2015, and offer a list of options to further strengthen those efforts….