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DCP staffing critical

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By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -   Dougherty County's Police Chief says his department is approaching a critical staffing shortage after two years in which the attrition rate was nearly double the national average.

Chief Don Cheek says he's having trouble recruiting new officers and keeping employees, especially experienced officers, because most surrounding law enforcement agencies have better pay and benefits.

26 employees left in 2009 and 2010, including 16 line officers. That's a 57% turnover of primary first responders.

"We're hurting. We're strapped. We really are," Cheek said. "We've never been at this critical a level. It's hard to recruit officers when agencies in the surrounding area pay $3 or $4 an hour more to start."

Chief Cheek says his officers haven't had a true pay raise in four years and have actually lost pay due to insurance increases and furloughs.

He expects to lose more experienced officers.

He says a pay and benefit increase by the County Commission is needed to stop the attrition.

  • Click HERE to see Chief Cheek's full staffing report.

 

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